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Dominican Republic says Ortiz not target of shooting

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Santo Domingo (AFP)

Authorities in the Dominican Republic said former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz was not the target of a gun attack that left him seriously wounded.

Ortiz is recovering in Boston after being shot in the back on June 9 while in a nightclub in his hometown of Santo Domingo.

According to the attorney general's office, Sixto David Fernandez -- a businessman and friend of Ortiz -- was the target of the attack.

The pair were at a table in a bar in the Dominican capital when a bullet struck Ortiz in the back and pierced a number of internal organs, attorney general Jean Alain Rodriguez said.

Doctors removed the 43-year-old's gallbladder and part of his colon and intestines. He also sustained liver damage.

Ortiz -- known as "Big Papi" -- was first treated in the Dominican Republic and then flown to Boston for a second operation.

So far 10 people have been taken into custody over the attack, including one who surrendered on Friday, and another four are on the run.

The alleged trigger man is among those in custody. Police say he is a 25-year-old who claims to have been offered the equivalent of around $8,000 to shoot Ortiz.

The former designated hitter and first baseman, who retired in 2016, was in the Dominican Republic for business and personal reasons.

"Big Papi" played 14 seasons for the Red Sox and made 10 All-Star appearances in his 20-year career.

Ortiz, who hit 541 home runs with 1,768 RBIs in 2,408 games in the major league, began his career by playing six seasons for the Minnesota Twins (1997-2002), but his career took off after he joined the Red Sox.

He helped Boston capture their first World Series title in 86 years in 2004, when he was the MVP of the American League championship series.

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