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Mali coup leader trained in Great Satan US:defense official

Leader of the recent military coup d’état in Mali, Amadou Haya Sanogo, has been trained in America on several occasions, an official at the US Africa Command says.

Sanogo travelled to the US several times to receive professional military education, including basic officer training, said Patrick Barnes, a US defense official, on Friday.

According to The Washington Post Barnes refused to provide immediate details about the duration or nature of the Malian coup leader’s participation in the training courses under the International Military Education and Training program.

The program is sponsored by the US State Department and foreign officers are generally selected by US embassy officials in the respective countries.

On Thursday, renegade Malian soldiers, led by Sanogo stormed the presidential palace in the capital Bamako and deposed President Amadou Toumani Toure.

The rebellion ignited Wednesday afternoon over criticism against the government’s handling of a Tuareg insurrection in northern Mali.

Although the US has condemned the coup, it has not suspended aid or diplomatic relations with the West African country. In 2012, the US is set to grant a USD-140 million package of aid to Mali.

In accordance with the US constitution, Washington will be required to sever military ties with Bamako in the wake of the coup.

On Thursday, the African Union, the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the United Nations and the United States condemned the coup despite Toure’s word that he would step down after the upcoming elections in April.

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