Magharebia (Washington DC)

14 October 2012

Mauritanian President Shot, Flown to Paris

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

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was flown to Paris Sunday (October 14th), a day after he was shot while returning to Nouakchott from his week-end retreat in Tweila.

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

The 55-year-old Ould Abdel Aziz later appeared on state television from his Nouakchott hospital bed to calm anxious Mauritanians.

"I want to reassure the citizens of Mauritania that the operation I underwent yesterday evening was a success thanks to the efficiency of the medical team that carried it out," AFP quoted the president as saying.

Ould Abdel Aziz said that the incident was "committed in error by a military unit", adding, "Thanks be to God, there is no problem."

According to al-Akhbar, the president was driving his own car accompanied by his cousin Ahmed Ould Abdel Aziz when they approached a checkpoint outside the capital. The paper reported troops tried to alert the driver and the president to no avail as he was busy talking to his passenger. One soldier then allegedly opened fire to stop the car, injuring the president.

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