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Mauritania mourns gendarme killed in search for jihadist fugitives, 1 escapee arrested

Mauritania mourns gendarme killed in search for jihadist fugitives, 1 escapee arrested
Pallbearers carry at the Ibn Abbas Mosque in Nouakchott, on March 12, 2023 the coffin of Mauritanian police officer Mustapha Ould El Khadir Ould Abeid, killed on Mar. 11, 2023   -  
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MARCO LONGARI/AFP or licensors


Hundreds of Mauritanian soldiers and civilians attended Sunday (Mar. 12) in Nouakchott, the funeral of a gendarme who was killed during an operation to arrest four terrorists who escaped from prison.

Relatives, a number of ministers, heads of security services, and the rest of the audience performed the funeral prayer in front of the coffin of Gendarmerie Mustafa Ould Khudair Ould Obeid, according to an AFP journalist.

The coffin was covered with the national flag in the Ibn Abbas Mosque, not far from the prison from which the terrorists escaped a week ago.

The gendarme was killed on Friday night (Mar. 10), during a clash with the four fugitives, in the Adrar region (north), hundreds of kilometers from Nouakchott.

Nigerien authorities said Saturday (Mar. 11) that three fugitives were killed, including Salek Ould Cheikh, who was on death row, while the fourth was arrested.

Although it has not been abolished, Mauritania has not implemented the death penalty since 1987.

Two members of the National Guard were killed during the terrorists’ escape from the prison in Nouakchott.

Ould Cheikh was sentenced to death in 2011 in connection with the attempt to assassinate then-president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and the targeting of the French embassy. 

Salek Ould Cheikh previously escaped from prison in December 2015, before being arrested in Guinea-Bissau and returned to Mauritania three weeks later.

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