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Military seize power in Mauritania

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Military seize power in Mauritania

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There has been a military coup in Mauritania.

The army says it has overthrown the President and set up a State Council – headed by the former chief of the Presidential, who was reportedly sacked this morning.

It is now understood President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi has been arrested along with the northwest African country’s prime minister.

Soldiers surrounded Presidential palace after Abdallahi replaced senior army officers in the wake of a political crisis.

On Tuesday, 48 MPs walked out on the ruling party less than two weeks after a vote of no-confidence in the government prompted a cabinet reshuffle.

A new cabinet was formed but without the opposition Union of Forces for Progress and Islamist
Tawassoul parties which had formed part of the previous government.

Abdallahi became the former French colony’s first democratically-elected leader last year.

He took over from a military junta that had ruled Mauritania since it toppled the former President in a bloodless coup in 2005.