There is said to have been an attempted coup in West African Mali. This is said to have been supported by a western country, said a government spokesman on Tuesday night. The spokesman said that Malian non-commissioned officers were involved in the coup attempt on the night of May 11/12. The government did not comment on which western country is said to have backed the putschists. The exits from the capital Bamako and the border posts will be increased, it said.

The relationship between the military rulers in Bamako and Western countries, especially France, is considered tense. In February, the former colonial power and its international partners announced an end to the anti-terrorist operation in Mali and a coordinated withdrawal of combat troops.

Mali, with around 20 million inhabitants, has experienced three military coups since 2012 and is considered to be extremely unstable politically. Since the most recent coup in May, the country has been led by a transitional military government that is supposed to maintain close ties with Russia. Islamist terrorist groups have been troubling the crisis-ridden state for years.