State television in Mali has gone off the air, as residents near the broadcaster say they saw troops erecting heavy barricades fearing a possible countercoup.

Mutinous soldiers seized control of state TV on Wednesday and later announced a coup. The President hasn't been heard from since and there have been unconfirmed reports that loyalist soldiers may try to take back control.

Resident Mohamed Traore said by telephone he saw troops at the station rush to put up defences. He lives 300 yards from the broadcaster, saying when he went to speak to them, the soldiers told him loyalists were planning an attack.

Mali is considered one of the only functioning democracies in the region. The coup represents a major setback for the nation of 15.4 million.

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