Mauritania: President’s Shooter on State TV

Mauritania: President’s Shooter on State TV

The Mauritanian military who wounded by gunshot President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on October 13 appeared on the national television and said that he fired at the head of state by mistake.
Lieutenant Elhaj Ould Hmoudy said that he fired at a “suspicious vehicle” carrying passengers wearing turbans. He said he ordered the driver to pullover and the passengers to get out of the car, but the car slowed down and then sped up. As the driver refused to stop, the military said he fired at the vehicle but that he had no idea that the president was inside the vehicle.
The lieutenant admitted that he was not wearing his military uniform when he ordered the driver of the suspicious car to pullover and that he used his personal car to follow it.
The investigations conducted after the incident come to the conclusion that Lieutenant Hmoody committed professional mistakes as he gave orders while he was not wearing his military attire and was driving a civilian car. Investigators blamed his lack of experience but did not question his good faith and authorized him to go back to work.
President Abdulaziz was wounded with two bullets in what has been called “a friendly fire incident.” He underwent a surgery in Nouakchott before being flown to Paris for further treatment.
Fearing an outbreak of disorder and chaos in his country, the president appeared on the state TV before flying to France in an attempt to reassure the Mauritanian people and ask them to keep calm.
Despite the government’s assurances that it was an accidental shooting, some Mauritanians still believe it was a failed assassination attempt. The Opposition which had decided to stop its protest movements after the incident had called for the release of more information regarding the incidence and demanded that the president’s medical report be made public.
Mr. Abdel Aziz, a former general, took power in 2008 following a bloodless military coup, ousting Side Ould Sheikh Abdullah. In 2009, he was elected president of the former French colony, which gained independence in 1960.
The Mauritanian military who wounded by gunshot President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on October 13 appeared on the national television and said that he fired at the head of state by mistake.
Lieutenant Elhaj Ould Hmoudy said that he fired at a “suspicious vehicle” carrying passengers wearing turbans. He said he ordered the driver to pullover and the passengers to get out of the car, but the car slowed down and then sped up. As the driver refused to stop, the military said he fired at the vehicle but that he had no idea that the president was inside the vehicle.
The lieutenant admitted that he was not wearing his military uniform when he ordered the driver of the suspicious car to pullover and that he used his personal car to follow it.
The investigations conducted after the incident come to the conclusion that Lieutenant Hmoody committed professional mistakes as he gave orders while he was not wearing his military attire and was driving a civilian car. Investigators blamed his lack of experience but did not question his good faith and authorized him to go back to work.
President Abdelaziz was wounded with two bullets in what has been called “a friendly fire incident.” He underwent a surgery in Nouakchott before being flown to Paris for further treatment.
Fearing an outbreak of disorder and chaos in his country, the president appeared on the state TV before flying to France in an attempt to reassure the Mauritanian people and ask them to keep calm.
Despite the government’s assurances that it was an accidental shooting, some Mauritanians still believe it was a failed assassination attempt. The Opposition which had decided to stop its protest movements after the incident had called for the release of more information regarding the incidence and demanded that the president’s medical report be made public.
Mr. Abdelaziz, a former general, took power in 2008 following a bloodless military coup, ousting Side Ould Sheikh Abdullah. In 2009, he was elected president of the former French colony, which gained independence in 1960.

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