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Thursday 2 October  

Mali Red Beret soldier shot dead

Published on 10 August 2012 - 2:12pm
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A member of the elite Red Beret paratrooper unit which served ousted Malian leader Amadou Toumani Toure has been shot dead in his barracks, military sources told AFP on Friday.

"Staff Sergeant Amadou Traore was shot in unclear circumstances in a military camp" near Bamako on Thursday night, a colleague said on condition of anonymity.

The information was confirmed by Djenaba Toure, whose husband lives in the same camp: "He was shot, it is not clear, we want to know why he was killed."

The Red Beret unit was dissolved after a March 22 coup by low-ranking soldiers led by Captain Amadou Sanogo.

The loyalist soldiers attempted a counter-coup on April 30 which was stamped out by the putchists, who rounded up scores of those suspected to have been involved.

International rights bodies Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have reported the torture and disappearance of about 20 of these soldiers who are feared dead.

While the putschists handed power to a civilian transition government on April 6, they have remained influential, carrying out arrests of those seen as close to the former president. The African Union has accused them of meddling in political affairs.

In mid-July some 300 military wives marched in Bamako to demand the release of their husbands and the truth about those who disappeared.

On August 1, dozens of these women physically blocked armed men from entering the barracks to arrest their partners.

The Red Beret barracks is halfway between the Kouloba presidential palace and Kati military camp which is Sanogo's headquarters.

© ANP/AFP
  • Wives of the Red Beret soldiers march in Bamako last month to demad their ...
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