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Peace Corps leaves Mali, new U.S. travel warning issued

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Peace Corps volunteers have been evacuated from Mali and non-essential U.S. diplomatic personnel have been offered flights out due to ongoing political instability following a military coup in March, the State Department said on Sunday.

The agency again warned Americans against travel to the West African nation due to a rebellion in the north and continuing threats of attacks and kidnappings of Westerners. It strongly urged U.S. citizens there to consider leaving temporarily.

"The situation in the country remains fluid and unpredictable," the State Department said in a statement.

The main airport in the capital, Bamako, was open, but the availability of future flights was unpredictable and depended on the overall security situation, the State Department said.

The latest travel warning followed the formal resignation of Mali's president, Amadou Toumani Toure, on Sunday. He has been in hiding since the March 22 coup.

Toure's resignation paved the way for the soldiers who ousted him to abide by a deal to restore civilian rule and hand power to the president of the National Assembly.

(Reporting By John Crawley; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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