French embassy suicide bomber was wanted by the police

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the French embassy in Mauritania's capital, wounding two members of staff. Mauritanian police say the suicide bomber was a wanted "member of the jihadist movement".


AFP - A suicide bomber died Saturday after staging an explosion near the French embassy in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott, as two members of staff were jogging nearby, police and embassy staff said.

Two French nationals, security employees at the French embassy, were near the man at the moment of the blast," embassy official Marc Flattot told AFP.

"They are in hospital, they are unharmed, but in shock," he added.

"The Westerners are in hospital but their lives are not in danger," a police official said.

The bomber had a belt laden with explosives, police said, adding that he staged the explosion a little before 7:00 pm local time near the wall of the French embassy complex in Nouakchott.

The attack comes three days after the west African country's coup leader, who staged a widely condemned putsch a year ago, took power in the former French colony following contested elections.

On June 23, a US national working in Mauritania, 48-year-old Christopher Leggett, was shot dead in Nouakchott. A suspect was charged last Tuesday with his murder and with membership of Al-Qaeda.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the terrorist group's north African branch, claimed responsibility for the murder.

Three suspects are in jail awaiting trial for the December 2007 killings of four French tourists at Aleg, in the south of the country. The three men are also suspected of being members of AQIM.

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