Weapons Laden-Vehicle coming from Tindouf Intercepted in Mauritania

The Mauritanian army intercepted this week in the northwest border area, which was proclaimed recently “closed military zone”, a vehicle carrying arms and ammunition coming from the Polisario-run Tindouf camps.

The suspected vehicle was spotted thanks to aerial surveillance established since the proclamation of the border strip with Algeria a “military zone” prohibited to civilians.

Mauritanian authorities closed the borders part of efforts to struggle against all sorts of trafficking thriving in the region.

Northwestern Mauritania is well known for being a favorite haven of the Tindouf camps traffickers and smugglers. They cross the Mauritanian border to sell contraband merchandise and also the foodstuffs and medicines diverted from the international humanitarian aid destined to the deprived populations of the camps.

According to Mauritanian media, the intercepted weapons and ammunition were in an SUV vehicle coming from Tindouf that was being chased by elements of the Polisario’s armed militia before being neutralized by the Mauritanian soldiers.

The media, quoting the Mauritanian army, said the individuals on board the seized vehicle were members of a network of drug traffickers.

Cases of drug trafficking in the Tindouf camps have become recurrent. At the beginning of July, an armed confrontation broke out in the Awsserd camp between two gangs of Sahrawi drug traffickers.

The fight that panicked the camp inhabitants erupted when a drug baron realized that a cargo of narcotics he intended to convey to northern Mali was stolen from his home. Suspecting one of his competitors, he chased him aboard an SUV car before members of the two gangs, armed with guns and knives, joined the chase and exchanged fire-shots in the locality of Agouinit.

The confrontation ended only after the intervention of the Algerian army present at the scene.

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