Page last updated at 21:24 GMT, Saturday, 8 August 2009 22:24 UK

Mauritania bomber targets embassy

Map of Mauritania

A suicide bomber has set off an explosion outside the French embassy in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott.

Two guards at the embassy were slightly wounded, and the bomber died.

The bomber had been wearing a belt packed with explosives which he detonated at 1900 (1900 GMT), just outside the embassy compound wall.

The blast comes three days after Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who took power in a coup last year, was sworn in as president after recent elections.

No immediate claim of responsibility was reported.

Mauritanian authorities have blamed Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which has been active in several north-western African states, for previous attacks.

These included an attack by gunmen on the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott in February last year, and the killing of four French tourists in December 2007.

In June, the group claimed the killing of a US aid worker who was working in Mauritania.

General Abdelaziz promised to tackle terrorism after his recent election victory.

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