Police chief axed after foreigners kidnapped in Mauritania

By Incorrect Author 3 December 2009

Mauritania sacked its national police chief days after three Spanish aid workers were seized by gunmen believed to be linked to al-Qaeda. Mauritania’s a big place with lots of desert, so you have to feel for the top cop. He is said to have been directly responsible for security on the long road between the capital Nouakchott and the north of the country on which the Spaniards were snatched. Unconfirmed reports now say the aid workers may have been taken to neighbouring Mali, where a British hostage was killed in mid-2009 by a similar group of militants. Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate, known as al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, is believed to have a large camp there, and the West fears heightened kidnappings of foreigners and attacks on regional troops across the Sahara might lead to assaults on Europe. Read more: BBC, Al Arabiya, AFP

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