More arrests over attack on Mali president
5/28/2012 10:00:00 PM -
BAMAKO (AFP) - Some 50 people have been arrested in the investigation into the attack on Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore by protesters angry over the transition deal, the government announced Monday.
"Some of these people have been taken into custody," the government statement said, adding that the inquiry was continuing and all would be "brought to light."
The number of people currently detained was not made public. "There were people who have been questioned and released, others are under arrest," a judicial source told AFP.
Traore, 70, was attacked and hurt, he did not suffer serious injuries according to preliminary checks.
Since Friday he has been in Paris undergoing further medical tests and is expected back in Bamako this week, a member of his team said.
Protesters angry at the signing of an agreement which appointed former speaker Traore at the head of a 12-month transition following a March 22 coup, stormed his offices and attacked him on May 21.
The deal was mediated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which pro-coup supporters accuse of imposing its will on the Malian people.
ECOWAS urgently sought to put in place a transition to "re-establish territorial integrity" by winning back the north of Mali which was seized by Tuareg and Islamist rebels in the days following a March 22 coup.
The rebel forces grew closer this weekend however after the rebel alliance declared an Islamic state in the north.
A meeting aimed at building closer ties between the different rebel groups, who include hardline Islamists and secular nationalist forces, ended in Timbuktu, in the rebel-held north, on Monday.
Also Monday, the government also took the nation's news media to task.
A communications ministry statement accused some media, especially radio, of "apologizing for crime" and "contributing to maintaining and even prolonging the crisis across Mali by its incendiary words and writings."