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A delegation of army chiefs from the Economic Community of West African States bloc has arrived in Bamako ahead of a team of six heads of state as Mali's neighbours attempt to restore constitutional order after last week's coup.
Led by Blaise Compaore, president of Burkina Faso, the ECOWAS leaders' team is expected to arrive on Thursday even as several thousand people took to the streets of the capital in support of the coup and to protest against the possible use of force by Mali's neighbours.
The visit comes as toppled president Amadou Toumani Toure, whose whereabouts have been unknown since he was overthrown on March 22, told the AFP news agency that he was safe in Bamako and was not being held by the coup leaders.
Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reports from Bamako.