Sounds like Fran was freelancing in Mauritania

Fran Mold’s little pillow-talk scoop may have gut shot David Shearer, meanwhile in Africa it has happened for real. Was this the reason she has been unavailable for comment?

Mauritania’s president, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, was being flown to France for medical treatment after a bizarre incident in which he was shot in the stomach, apparently by mistake, by his own troops.

Authorities in the west African nation, regarded as a key ally in the battle against al-Qaeda in the region, were insisting the shooting, which took place 40km outside the capital, was an accident.

The president appeared on state television from his hospital bed to call for calm. “I want to calm all citizens,” Abdel Aziz said. “I want to reassure everyone about my state of health after this incident committed by error.”

Sources say “jumpy” military guards at a checkpoint mistook Abdel Aziz, who was returning to the capital, Nouakchott, after a trip to the desert, for a security threat.

“Security forces have been on high alert for the last six days, jumpy, and were concerned that something might happen. Obviously this incident is very unfortunate,” a diplomatic source said.

“We believe the shooting was an accident,” the source said. “The situation has now returned to normal – the international airports are open, and the virtual lockdown imposed after the incident has now been lifted.”

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