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Mauritania forces battle Islamists, escapee said dead

ICC Note

The government of Mauritania is fighting to get rid of Salafists. Salafists are Islamic extremists highly intolerant of Christians and other non-Muslims.

By Noiselle Champagne

April 7,2008 Mauritania (Reuters) – Mauritanian police fought suspected Islamist gunmen on Monday, and a medical source said an escaped al Qaeda suspect accused of killing four French tourists last December was killed in the clashes.

A Reuters reporter saw scores of police and gendarmerie officers, some with assault rifles, others wielding heavier guns mounted on vehicles, on a road leading north out of the capital Nouakchott as shots rang out after dark on Monday.

“It’s a clash with the Salafists (Islamists),” said a gendarmerie colonel at the scene.

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