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Traore returns to Mali

Mali's interim president returned on Friday (July 27) from weeks abroad spent recovering after he was beaten up by a mob, facing pressure to form a new government and authorise a foreign military intervention against rebels in the north. Interim President Dioncounda Traore, who spent weeks in France recovering from injuries he sustained in May when a pro-coup mob broke into his presidential palace and beat him up, flew into Bamako's main airport in the early evening. He was accompanied by his wife and children, and a Reuters witness said the scars from his injuries were still visible as he spoke to reporters on the tarmac. Mali needs outside support to recover from twin crises sparked by a March coup in the capital that precipitated the rebel takeover of its northern zones, occupied by Islamists dominated by al Qaeda's North African wing, AQIM. The March 22 coup was universally condemned abroad but the reaction in cotton- and gold-producing Mali was mixed, with some praising the removal of a political class they said was corrupt.

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