Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has been seized and detained by mutineering soldiers in the capital Bamako.
Prime Minister Boubou Cissé was also arrested following a mutiny on Tuesday by the soldiers.
There were reports of a possible mutiny on Tuesday after gunfire was heard at an army base outside Mali’s capital Bamako.
The army base was where a mutiny in 2012 led to a coup d’etat.
Prime Minister Boubou Cisse had issued a statement calling for dialogue and urging mutinous soldiers to stand down.
But that was rejected after the soldiers rounded up a number of senior civilians and military officials.
Several high-ranking politicians and officials have been kidnapped, including Finance Minister Abdoulaye Daffe and the National Guard’s chief of staff.
The leader of the coup could be Colonel Sadio Camara, according to some media reports.
In Bamako, hundreds of people poured into the square around the Independence Monument, calling for Keita to quit.
Protesters attacked the justice minister’s personal offices, setting parts of them on fire.
Mali has been in turmoil, compounded by a political crisis and insecurity as protesters call for the resignation of President Keita.
The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has condemned the actions of the soldiers urging them to return to barracks.
“This mutiny comes at a time when, for several months now, Ecowas has been taking initiatives and conducting mediation efforts with all the Malian parties,” its statement said.