Interim president of Mali 'injured by protesters'

Demonstrators have attacked the interim president of Mali at his office, knocking him unconscious, according to reports.

Dioncounda Traore was brought to the Point G Hospital, said Sekou Yattara, a medical student.

The student said Mr Traore had suffered an injury to the head. The interim leader was not conscious when he was brought in, he added.

A close collaborator of Mr Traore said that he learned from the president’s bodyguard that the president was injured when protesters broke into his office which is in a building next to the presidential palace.

Mr Traore had not been using offices in the palace itself as that building was ransacked during a coup in March.

Thousands of people had protested at the presidential palace in Bamako, angry about a deal brokered by regional powers that extended the time Mr Traore would stay in power.

A witness saw protesters break into the palace compound.

Mr Traore became interim president following a deal which was negotiated by Mali’s neighbours with the military officers that led the March 21 coup.

The unexpected military takeover ousted the country’s democratically elected president, just months before he was due to step down following the end of his legal term.

Mr Traore remains a divisive figure, because he was the head of the national assembly under the former president, whose popularity had taken a nosedive over his alleged mishandling of a rebellion in the country’s north.

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