Mauritania president wounded after ‘accidental’ shooting

Abdel Aziz is undergoing treatment at a military hospital in the capital Nouakchott, a source at the presidency and two military sources told Reuters.

They did not give further details and it was not immediately clear why the military convoy opened fire on the convoy.

"On his way back to Nouakchott, the presidential convoy was shot by a Mauritanian patrol … as they did not recognize his convoy," Communications Minister Hamdi Ould Mahjoub said on national television.

"The president was shot on that occasion, but he is lightly wounded and his life is not threatened," he said.

Word of Abdel Aziz's shooting triggered talk across Nouakchott that he had been targeted by Islamists.

Abdel Aziz was elected in 2009 after coming to power in a 2008 coup and he is now seen by Western nations, including France, as a key ally in tackling al-Qaeda in the region.

Security forces blocked roads leading to the military hospital, but security did not appear to be heightened around the presidential palace or other official buildings, according to a Reuters witness.

Mauritania launched numerous military operations on Islamist bases in neighbouring Mali before a rebellion in that country split it in two, placing its vast desert in the hands of heavily-armed groups linked to al-Qaeda.

Mauritania, which straddles black and Arab Africa on the West coast of the continent, has enjoyed several years of relative political stability. Abdel Aziz has faced some protests over complaints ranging from corruption to his poor handling of a recent food crisis. – Reuters

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Reuters
Guest Author
Advertisting

‘Frustrated’ police resort to force

Regulation uncertainty leaves slap-happy police and soldiers to decide when people should or shouldn’t be allowed on the streets

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders