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Officials say a military convoy accidentally fired on the West African leader.
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has been severely wounded by a gunshot and will be flown out of the country for additional treatment, officials told Reuters.
Communications Minister Hamdi Ould Mahjoub announced on state television that Aziz was accidentally fired on by a military convoy late Saturday but his life is not in danger, according to BBC News.
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Mahjoub said the West African leader took the shot in the arm and the immediate surgery was successful.
BCC cited Mauritanian radio as initially describing the incident as an assassination attempt.
Mahjoub today assured the nation that Aziz is safe, telling viewers: "The Mauritanian people can be reassured, the president is fine... He got out of the vehicle unassisted upon arrival at the hospital, where he walked in without difficulty," reported BBC, whose correspondent reported hundreds of concerned citizens surrounding the military hospital.
The 55-year-old general took control in a military coup four years ago and won presidential elections in 2009, according to BBC.