Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned on Tuesday (August 18) and dissolved parliament, plunging the country into deeper political crisis amid military mutiny and mass protests.
Protesters have been calling for Keita to resign, blaming him for corruption and worsening security in the north and center of the West African country, where Islamist militants are active.
Wearing a surgical mask, Keita resigned in a brief address broadcast on state television.
"If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?"
Keita's address came shortly after mutinying soldiers seized him and several other top officials, detaining them at the Kati military base outside the capital Bamako earlier on Tuesday.
It was not immediately clear who was leading the revolt, who would govern in Keita's absence or what the mutineers wanted.
But hundreds of anti-government protesters poured into a central square in Bamako -- to celebrate Keita's rumoured detention.
They cheered on the mutineers, who drove through in military vehicles and fired rounds of celebratory gunfire.
International reaction to the news was swift.
France and other international powers, as well as the African Union, denounced the mutiny, fearful that Keita's fall could further destabilise the former French colony and West Africa's entire Sahel region.
The United Nations also called for the immediate release of Keita and other detainees.