Protests in Mali's capital against the arrest of a popular activist radio host have turned violent, leaving at least three people dead and several injured.

These are the first major protests in Bamako since a military coup in 2012.

Dozens took to the streets in Hamdallaye neighborhood Wednesday in support of radio personality Ras Bath.

Activist Yelimady Konate says protesters knocked down the door of the courtroom where Bath was having his hearing. He says Bath was arrested Monday before hosting a radio talk show discussing Mali's army.

Protester Mama Camara says he saw three dead and several hurt at a clinic where he was looking for friends.

A doctor there, Makan Diakite, says some people had been hit by bullets.