Mauritania attack
Photo: Reuters

Gunmen attack Israeli embassy in Mauritania

Police report unidentified men attack Israeli mission in capital of Nouakchott, wounding several people. Attack follows recent public calls by political parties to sever diplomatic ties with Israel

Unidentified gunmen attacked the Israeli embassy in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott early on Friday, wounding some people, police and emergency services said. According to reports, five people were injured in the attack, including one foreign national.


Eyewitnesses reported that the gunmen fired at the embassy compound while shouting "Allahu Akbar," and that the embassy's guards responded with fire.

Car damaged in shooting (Photo: Reuters)


A bar near the embassy, in the center of Nouakchott, was also hit by gunfire in the attack before the attackers fled, they said.


The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the attack has taken place in the early morning hours, while none of the mission members were at the place, and that the diplomatic staff and their families were all safe and sound.


An Israeli delegation will leave for Mauritania later in the day to examine the security aspects of the incident.


Ambassador: This is a serious incident  

The attack followed recent public calls by political parties in Mauritania, an Islamic Republic which straddles black and Arab Africa, for the government to sever diplomatic ties with Israel.


The country is one of the few Arab League states to have relations with Israel, and Israeli officials stressed the importance of maintaining these ties despite the attack.


Israel's Ambassador to Mauritania Boaz Bismuth told Ynet Friday, "It's never a pleasant experience to wake up in the morning to the sound of gunshots; it's never a pleasant thing to hear that your embassy – the Israeli embassy, is being attacked.


"This is a serious incident. It's no secret that there are those in the country or around it who do not view favorably the diplomatic relations between Israel and Mauritania."


The attack also came just weeks after the Lisbon-Dakar rally was cancelled due to fears of an armed Islamist threat in the West African country following two attacks in late December in which four French tourists and some soldiers were killed.


Roee Nahmias, Yehonatan Weber and Hagar Mizrachi contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 02.01.08, 07:12
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