14 October 2012

Mauritania: President Abdel Aziz to Be Flown to Paris After Shooting

Photo: http://africanarguments.org
President Abdel Aziz in his French hospital bed after being shot in an apparent accident.

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Aziz is to be flown to Paris for medical treatment Sunday after being shot by a military unit, sources say.

Aziz's wound was not serious and his life is not in danger, officials say.

The president was wounded in the stomach and has already been operated on in Nouakchott, a source told Reuters news agency, while another told AFP that he is to be transferred to Paris.

The government denied an earlier report that Aziz was targeted in the attack on Saturday.

"This was an accidental shooting on the presidential convoy as it returned to Nouakchott. The army unit did not recognize the presidential convoy," Communications Minister Hamdi Ould Mahjoub said on national television.

"The Mauritanian people can be reassured, the president is fine... He was slightly wounded, and he got out of the vehicle unassisted upon arrival at the hospital, where he walked in without difficulty."

Aziz was involved in two coups d'état, in 2005 and 2008, and took the leadership of the country. He was elected president in 2009 in an election that opponents say was not free and fair.

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