When the green berets arrived at the military camp Friday they were confronted by women and children, and fired tear gas and volleys into the air, according to Batoma Dicko, a woman who lives in the camp. The camp includes housing for military families. The attackers succeeded in entering the camp, carried out a search and set fire to the infirmaries, she said.
Dr. Amadou Diallo, who works at the infirmary in the camp, known as Djicoroni Para Camp, said at least one person was killed and five were wounded.
‘‘A young man in his 20s was hit by a bullet in the head and he died on the spot,’’ Diallo said. ‘‘There are also two women who were wounded, and three children, aged 11, 17 and around 15 years old.’’
The Red Berets were the elite presidential guard who protected former President Amadou Toumani Toure, who was toppled in the coup last March by junior officers.
The chaos of the coup allowed Tuareg and Islamic rebels to grab hold of north Mali. In April, the Islamic extremists gained control of the territories and began imposing strict Shariah law. France intervened in its former colony on Jan. 11 after the armed Islamic rebels began pushing south toward the capital. Several African nations are also contributing troops to the intervention force.
France has raised with the U.N. Security Council the possibility of establishing a U.N. peacekeeping operation in Mali.
U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said there is widespread international support for replacing the current military operation with a U.N. peacekeeping operation, but this would require approval by the Malian government.
Ahmed reported from Timbuktu, Mali.