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Mali's president picks new prime minister in power shakeup, marks 3rd premier in 17 months


BAMAKO, Mali — Mali's president has replaced his prime minister with one of the government's top negotiators during the talks with northern rebel groups.

The government announced late Thursday that 73-year-old Modibo Keita will replace outgoing Prime Minister Moussa Mara.

This marks the third prime minister that President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has had since he was elected just 17 months ago.

Mali has been rocked by instability since a March 2012 coup paved the way for al-Qaida and other jihadists to seize control of the country's north.

They were ousted from power by a French-led military intervention, though elements have staged a worrisome number of attacks in recent months.

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