Abidine Guindo, the Colonel of the Presidential guard parachutists who on April 30 and May 1 led a failed coup, was arrested in Mali’s capital Bamako. Guindo had disappeared since the coup attempt and, according to the Malian media, was only captured yesterday. The report was not however confirmed by the ministry of Justice, but only some relatives of the colonel.
The parachutists, known also as red berets, had remained loyal to former president Amadou Toumani Touré, ousted on March 22 in a failed military coup attempt that left 22 dead and dozens injured.
In the North, the Movement for Uniqueness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) carried out a new offensive against the Tuareg of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), pushing them out of Ansogo, a town north of Gao where they had set up base. The MNLA was previously forced by various Islamist groups active in northern Mali to abandon its posts occupied for around three months in Gao and Timbuktu. Residents who remained in the city of Timbuktu set up an armed brigade to defend some shrines, monuments and holy sites, for which the city has been known for centuries, targeted by the Ansar al Din, the armed group that controls the city and is carrying out the demolitions under a more rigid interpretation of Islam.