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Mali ex-president Toure dies at 72

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Former president of Mali, Amadou Toumani Toure, has died in Turkey at the age of 72, a family member and a doctor said on Tuesday.

Toure, a former army general widely known by his initials ATT, led the Sahel nation for a decade before being ousted in a coup. He first took charge of the country for a year in 1991, helping to overthrow the previous regime and install democracy.

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

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, 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, AFP reported.

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

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