Mauritania murders

This item appears on page 18 of the March 2008 issue.

Following the murder of four French tourists in Mauritania in December 2007, two suspects were captured in Guinea-Bissau and returned to Mauritania to face trial and one is still at large. Two of the three are suspected to be Islamic extremists allied with al Qaida. An attack on a military base in northern Mauritania two days after the murders left three soldiers dead.

Violence like this is rare in Mauritania, and it is speculated that it was carried out to gain maximum attention by leading to the cancellation of the Lisbon-Dakar 2008 auto rally.