Bamako, Mali (PANA) - Fourteen persons, half of them civilians, died Tuesday in Mali when they were hit by stray bullets following the eruption of violent clashes between troops loyal to the coup plotters and those still supporting the ousted President Toumani Toure, PANA learnt from official sources.
In a statement here Wednesday, the Committee for the recovery of democracy and the restoration of the state (CNRDRE), the military junta that ousted Toure in a coup on 22 March, accused "the intruders” of attacking the Kati barracks, the Malian national broadcaster (ORTM) and the international Bamako-Senou airport with a view to destabilizing the process of returning the country to constitutional order.
The violent clashes erupted between members of the garrison at Kati, 15 km north of Bamako, and those of the Parachute Regiment in Djikoroni, west of Bamako, after CNRDRE troops attempted, but failed, to arrest the commander of the Parachute Regiment, Colonel Abdeen Guindo.
Guindo, a senior officer who has long served as aide to President Toure, has remained loyal to the presidency.
The CNRDRE warned, however, that "All those who are directly or indirectly involved in carrying out this heinous act against the people of Mali will be sought and brought before the courts."
According to hospital sources, the Gabriel Touré hospital in Bamako reported 14 deaths and 40 injured, while the authorities of the Point G Hospital, the other big clinic in the capital, reported three wounded.
Nine others wounded, including five soldiers, were admitted at the Kati hospital.
-0- PANA WG/JSG/JEN/VAO 2May2012