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US worried by unrest in Mali

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BRADLEY KLAPPER | March 21, 2012 05:46 PM EST | AP


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is monitoring unrest in Mali, including reports of a possible coup in the African nation the U.S. has long held up as an example of a thriving democracy.

The U.S. Embassy in Bamako is advising Americans in Mali to stay indoors.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the situation Wednesday was "unclear and unfolding quickly." She said radio and television signals are dead. She cited reports of military forces surrounding the presidential palace.

Hours after soldiers stormed state TV and radio, young recruits reportedly started rioting at a base in Mali's impoverished north.

Nuland said grievances should be addressed through dialogue, not violence.

The embassy warned of possible demonstrations in the capital of Bamako on Thursday, and cited reports of gunfire in residential areas.