Failed coup in Mauritania?

Mauritanian troops have been confined to barracks in the capital, Nouakchott, after unconfirmed reports of a foiled putsch.

    In power since 1984, President Taya has ruled with an iron fist

    An opposition deputy and a human-rights lawyer on Monday said there was talk of more than a dozen army officers having been arrested.

    The apparent attempt to kill President Muaawya walad Sidi Ahmad Taya took place at the airport as he was leaving for France.
    "We've been consigned [to barracks]," said a lower-ranking soldier in the capital, where people were going about their business as usual.
    There was no official confirmation. Neither the presidency nor military police were immediately available for comment. 
    Relative calm

    There was no sign of increased security at the presidency in the capital or at the main army base.
    Mauritania's pro-Western leader seized power in a 1984 coup and has ruled the West African country with an iron fist ever since.
    Renegade soldiers tried to depose Taya in June last year, but the uprising was crushed in two days of street battles.



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