Mauritania holds presidential election
Mauritania on Saturday held its first national election since a military coup last August led by one of the candidates. Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz quit the army after leading the rebellion that ousted former President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, the country's first elected president since its independence in 1960.
Abdelaziz also stepped down as the head of the ruling junta to compete as a civilian in the presidential election. Ballots opened early Saturday morning and were to close 12 hours later.
Security sources reported shootouts between gunmen and police in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, just hours before the poll started.
Another chief candidate is Col. Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, leader of a 2005 junta that freed the country from two decades of dictatorship.