Bamako - Islamists occupying northern Mali beat a radio presenter for reporting on their failed efforts to amputate a thief's hand as an embattled interim regime in the capital struggled to win back confidence.
Amid attempts by Islamists to enforce sharia in the occupied vast desert north, the government vowed Monday to work flat out to regain lost territory and underscored its commitment to secularism.
However protesters demanding the resignation of interim President Dioncounda Traore took to the streets of the capital Bamako and police fired tear gas to disperse them.
In the extremist-occupied north, radio presenter Abdoul Malick Maiga was in the Gao hospital on Monday after a thrashing by the town's Islamist rulers.
"He regained consciousness but is still in intense pain," a doctor at the hospital told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"He has scratches on his eye. He explained that the Islamists came to arrest him as he was commenting on the population's refusal to accept the amputation of a thief's hand," he added.
Another doctor said the presenter had been beaten "with a stick by the Islamists who accused him of criticising them."