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Mauritania army announces accidental confrontation with Morocco force

A vehicle of the royal Moroccan armed forces is seen on the Moroccan side of border crossing point between Morocco and Mauritania in Guerguerat located in the Western Sahara, on 25 November 2020, after the intervention of Moroccan army in the area. [FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]
A vehicle of the royal Moroccan armed forces in the Western Sahara, on 25 November 2020, [FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images]

The Mauritanian army has announced on Wednesday an "accidental" confrontation with a Moroccan force at the northern borders of the country.

The army disclosed in a statement published on its website that one of its patrols came under fire on Tuesday night after accidentally approaching a defensive position of Moroccan forces. This occurred while the patrol was pursuing a group of smugglers in the border area near the town of Inal.

The statement added that the Moroccan forces considered the Mauritanian patrol as a hostile target, so the Mauritanian soldiers hit back in accordance with the rules of armed confrontations, until both parties recognised each other and resolved the issue.

It was reported that the confrontation did not lead to any casualties on either side.

The smuggling movement is active in the border areas between Mauritania and Morocco, particularly in light of the renewed tension at the Guerguerat crossing, the backbone of trade between Morocco and West Africa.

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