2007 killing of French tourists in Mauritania

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The 2007 killing of French tourists in Mauritania happened on December 24, 2007.[1] The attack happened near Aleg, 250 km east of the capital Nouakchott.[2]

The victims, five French tourists on holiday, were attacked while they were having a picnic.[3] Four of them were killed and the fifth was seriously injured.[4] There was one survivor; the victims were his two adult sons, brother, and a friend.[5] The 2008 Dakar Rally was cancelled because of this incident due to concerns of a possible terrorist attack.

Mauritanian authorities arrested nine people on January 7, 2008.[6] An assault rifle was recovered by police from a location close to the scene of the killings.[7] The Mauritanian interior minister blamed a terrorist sleeper cell for the killings.[8] Authorities say suspects are members of an extremist group linked to al-Qaida.[9]

One of the suspects arrested in January, Sidi Ould Sidna, escaped from the police in March but was arrested again in April.[10] Sidna had trained with the group Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, which confirmed Sidna was affiliated with their organization.[11] In 2010, three men who claimed to be "soldiers of Al-Qaeda", Sidi Ould Sidna, Mohamed Ould Chabarnou, and Maarouf Ould Haiba, were sentenced to death by a Mauritanian court for the attack. Since Mauritania has not used the death penalty since the 1980s, their death sentence will likely be commuted to an extended prison sentence on appeal.[12]


  1. ^ "4 French tourists killed in Mauritania". ABC News. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  2. ^ Mickolus, Edward (March 3, 2014). Terrorism, 2008-2012: A Worldwide Chronology. McFarland. pp. 310–. ISBN 978-1-4766-1467-0.
  3. ^ "Thomson Reuters Foundation". Alertnet.org. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  4. ^ "News". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Mauritania arrests three more suspects in French tourists' murder". AFP. December 29, 2007. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011.
  6. ^ "Mauritania detains 9 people in French tourists' deaths". Iht.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  7. ^ "Mauritania: Three arrested over slaying of French tourists - Adnkronos Security". Adnkronos.com. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Mauritania blames killings on terrorist cell". Msnbc.msn.com. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Mauritanian Suspects in French Tourist Killings Linked to al-Qaida". Voice of America. December 25, 2007. Archived from the original on December 28, 2007. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
  10. ^ "Mauritania Police Arrest Suspect in Killing of French Tourists". Voice of America. April 10, 2008. Archived from the original on November 17, 2008.
  11. ^ "The Saharan Conundrum". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Al Qaeda-affiliated tourist killers sentenced to death". France 24. May 25, 2010. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010.