Soldiers in Mali on Saturday shot and killed five women in a crowd protesting military killings of pro-democracy demonstrators, then chased protesters into a building and set it ablaze, witnesses said.

There were varying reports on the number of deaths in two days of rioting in Bamako, the Malian capital, which began when troops opened fire on student protesters who were joined by tens of thousands of people demanding democracy in the West African nation.A human rights activist said at least 80 people had died in violence, and doctors said hundreds have been injured.

President Gen. Moussa Traore met Saturday afternoon with pro-democracy leaders and heads of the Muslim and Catholic churches.