Dioncounda Traore, Mali president, hospitalized after beating from protesters


Mali's interim leader Dioncounda Traore is pictured on May 3, 2012 during the opening of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) talks. Traore was reportedly taken to a hospital after being beaten by protesters and suffering from head injuries on May 21, 2012.



Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore was hospitalized on Monday after protesters stormed the presidential palace to demand his resignation and beat him up, according to Reuters.

A spokesman for the soldiers who staged a coup in March said Traore’s protection officers killed three people in the attack, as protesters flooded the compound and tore up pictures of the caretaker president.

“He (Traore) has just been rushed to hospital ... They beat him seriously and tore his clothes," said Bakary Mariko, according to Reuters. The soldiers who led the military coup agreed to allow a transition back to civilian rule.

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The Associated Press reported that a hospital worker said the president was unconscious in the hospital, suffering from head wounds.

An AP reporter said he saw the soldiers who were supposed to guard the compound wave in the protesters.

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The demonstrators were marching to protest a deal struck between West African leaders and the coup leader Capt. Amadou Sanogo that would have had Traore remain in office for a year, until elections were organized, said Al Jazeera.

The protesters also blocked bridges and traffic with burning tires and chanted slogans against the West African bloc ECOWAS. They reportedly shouted “We don’t want Dioncounda” and “Down with ECOWAS,” according to Al Jazeera.

The AP noted that Traore is a divisive figure because of his position as head of the national assembly under the previous, hugely unpopular president who was ousted in the March coup.