Adviser: Mali president safe at military camp

MARTIN VOGL Associated Press Published:

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- A senior adviser to Mali's interior minister says the country's president is safe and seeking refuge in a military camp after mutinous soldiers launched a coup.

Disgruntled soldiers stormed the presidential palace and announced Thursday that they had overthrown the government.

President Amadou Toumani Toure's whereabouts have been unclear, but the adviser said he was at a military camp where forces are still loyal to him. The adviser spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

The soldiers said they were overthrowing the Malian government because of its mishandling of an ethnic Tuareg insurgency in the country's north that began in mid-January.

The developments mark a major setback for one of the region's few established democracies.