News World President and Prime Minister taken captive during Mali mutiny

President and Prime Minister taken captive during Mali mutiny

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Mutinying soldiers have arrested and detained Mali’s President and Prime Minister, security sources have confirmed.

It comes after the soldiers rounded up senior civilian and military officials from Mali’s capital Bamako and drove them back to their Kati military base.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and Prime Minister Boubou Cissé “are under our control”, a soldier was quoted as telling AFP.

“We have arrested them at his (the president’s) home,” he said.

Residents in the West African nation cheered as the military drove past. Photo: AAP

Mr Cissé had issued an earlier statement calling for talks and urging mutinous soldiers to stand down.

“The government appeals to reason and patriotic sense and asks that weapons should fall silent … and is ready immediately to engage in a brotherly dialogue in order to address any misunderstandings,” he said.

A spokesman for Mr Keita could not be reached for comment.

The French and Norwegian embassies in Bamako urged their citizens to stay at home.

“Because of serious unrest this morning, August 18, in the city of Bamako, it is immediately recommended to remain at home,” the French embassy said.

Earlier that day, gunfire was reportedly heard at an army base about 15 kilometres outside Bamako.

Malian soldiers arrive at Independence Square in Bamako. Photo: Getty

This prompted fears of a repeat of a mutiny in 2012 at the Kati base. It led to a military coup that toppled then-president Amadou Toumani Toure.

It also hastened the fall of Mali’s north to jihadist militants, who continue to operate across the north and centre of the country.

Mr Keita has faced mass protests since June calling for his resignation over alleged corruption and worsening security.

The US, France and the Economic Community of West African States all condemned the mutiny.

-with AAP