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US cuts off aid to Mali's government

The Obama administration has cut off American aid to the government of Mali after last week's coup by soldiers.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says U.S. humanitarian and food assistance will continue for Mali's impoverished citizens.

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But, she says, military aid and other funds directed to Mali's government have now been suspended.

"We have now taken a decision to suspend our assistance to the government of Mali pending a resolution of the situation on the ground," Nuland told reporters. "A little more than half of our $140 million (in aid to Mali) is food assistance, so I am expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of $60-$70 million in assistance will be suspended but we'll have better numbers for you later on."

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She said the U.S. was hoping democratic governance could be restored, leading to the resumption of U.S. assistance.

Army mutineers claim they overthrew the government because it was mishandling an ethnic insurgency in northern Mali.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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