Mauritanian president says he is in ''full control'' following failed coup attempt
The Mauritanian President, Maaouiya Ould Taya, appeared Monday evening on local TV and told his people he was in full control following failed attempt to oust him by elements of the military. The Mauritanian leader also hailed the country's armed forces that supported him during the two-day fightings.
The Mauritanian news agency reported that the Moroccan king and the French president called Taya to congratulate him.
Mauritanian residents celebrated in the streets on Monday after the government announced it had crushed a bid at the to remove President Maaouiya Ould Taya. The head of the president's office was seen travelling to the palace in his car, and several other government ministers were seen returning to work.
Earlier, Information Minister Hamoud Ould M'Hamed told Reuters that the last mutineers had surrendered. The claim has not yet been independently verified.
On Sunday, dissident soldiers were reported to have stormed the presidential palace and taken other key governmental buildings in the capital Nouackchott during the coup attempt.
There were also unconfirmed reports that the army chief-of-staff, Colonel Mohammed Lanine Ndiayane, was killed in Sunday's fighting.
An unnamed government source quoted by AFP said the rebels were headed by a former colonel, Salah Ould Hnana, with backing from units of the army and the air force. Other reports suggested the rebels were sympathetic to Iraq.
According to some analysts, the fact that Mauritania maintains full diplomatic relations with Israel has prompted the rebels. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)