Mali ex-president Amadou Toumani Toure dies aged 72

Mali’s former president Amadou Toumani Toure, who led the Sahel nation for a decade before being ousted in a coup, has died in Turkey aged 72, a family member and a doctor said on Tuesday.

“Amadou Toumani Toure died during the night of Monday to Tuesday in Turkey,” where he had been taken for health reasons, his nephew Oumar Toure told AFP.

A hospital doctor in Bamako said the former leader had recently undergone heart surgery.

Although “everything seemed to be going well”, the doctor said he was later transferred to Turkey for medical reasons.

Toure, a former soldier, first took charge of the country for a year in 1991, helping to overthrow the previous regime and install democracy.

He won presidential elections in 2002 and 2007 but was overthrown in 2012 by mutinous soldiers who accused him of failing to support their battle against both Tuareg rebels and jihadist insurgents.

Mali has suffered from chronic instability and repeated coups, the latest coming earlier this year.

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