May 22 - Mali's caretaker president is beaten up as hundreds of protesters storm the presidential palace to demand his resignation. Paul Chapman reports.
Hundreds who supported Mali's military coup storm the presidential palace in Bamako. They're demanding the resignation of caretaker president Dioncounda Traore. He was beaten up by some of the protesters who got into parts of the building unopposed. Traore needed hospital treatment for facial injuries. At least three of the protesters are reported to have been killed. SOUNDBITE: UNIDENTIFIED MAN SAYING (French); "He betrayed us 1000 times over. We don't trust him. He will see." Traore's a labour activist turned political grandee. He was previously parliamentary speaker. His critics say he's part of a self-serving political elite which has misruled the country for years. The protesters have been angered by an internationally-backed deal to extend Traore's 40-day mandate, which expired on Monday. SOUNDBITE: UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER SAYING (French): "We're determined to put an end to ignoble behaviour by our politicians, bad behaviour. We're determined today to say anything but Dioncounda. He will not become president of the Malian people." Coup leader Amadou Sanogo continues to wield influence in Bamako despite officially stepping aside last month. But a solution to Mali's political crisis is crucial if it's to get foreign help to re-take the north, seized by Islamist rebels emboldened by the coup in March. Paul Chapman, Reuters