AU says Mali president safe, near capital

ADDIS ABABA - The African Union said on Friday it had been told that Mali President Amadou Toumani Toure was safe after mutinous soldiers launched a coup against him this week.
"We have been told that the president is safe, protected by a certain number of loyalists," Jean Ping, Chairperson of the AU Commission, told journalists after a meeting of the bloc's Peace and Security Council.
"The president is in Mali for sure. The assurances we are getting from those that are protecting him is he is not far from Bamako," he said after the pan-African body suspended Mali's membership.
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