Soldiers from Mali’s ruling junta have overrun the main presidential guard barracks in the capital Bamako, which has been the scene of heavy fighting.
It has dealt a serious blow to troops loyal to the ousted government, who have been trying to reverse a coup. At least 27 people have been killed in clashes.
“We had a sleepless night. The soldiers are shooting at people. People are dying. Stray bullets are killing people. We want this to stop,” said one man who witnessed the violence.
The junta issued a statement claiming the counter-coup was being supported by elements from abroad.
The military took over in March, angry at the government’s handling of Touareg rebels, who now effectively control two thirds of the nation.