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Mauritania Leader Accidentally Shot By Army
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was shot and wounded when a military patrol accidentally fired on his convoy, a government official has said.
Mr Aziz was hit in the arm by a bullet as he was being driven through the capital Nouakchott after returning from a trip to the desert.
It is unclear why the military opened fire on the presidential motorcade, but local media reports suggested the patrol had not been told of the President's trip.
Speaking on national television, the government's communications minister Hamdi Ould Mahjoub said: "This was an accidental shooting on the presidential convoy as it returned to Nouakchott.
"The army unit did not recognise the presidential convoy.
"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."
Mr Mahjoub said the President's life was not in danger and that he was being treated at a military hospital.
Mauritania, which straddles black and Arab Africa on the west coast of the continent, has enjoyed several years of relative political stability.
Mr Aziz was elected in 2009 after coming to power in a 2008 coup and he is now seen by western nations as a key ally in tackling al Qaeda in the region.
During his presidency, he has faced some protests over complaints ranging from corruption to his poor handling of a recent food crisis.