Mali’s President Amadou Toumani Toure was under guard by loyalist troops Thursday after being forced to flee an attack by a military junta which claimed to have ousted his regime. The putschists, calling themselves the National Committee for the Establishment of Democracy, said they had acted due to government’s “inability” to put down a Tuareg-led insurrection in the north and tackle terrorism. Foreign powers expressed alarm over the coup, with France suspending cooperation with its former colony, urging soldiers not to harm Toure who was at a military barracks in Bamako under protection from his elite paratrooper guard. The junta appeared on state telivision overnight and their leader revealed to be Captain Amadou Sanogo. The 63-year-old Toure has not spoken publicly since and remained in Bamako, protected by his presidential guard at a military camp.