Mauritania forces search, attack al-Qaida suspects

A Mauritanian security official says forces have sought and attacked suspected al-Qaida-linked terrorists who claimed responsibility for a failed attack the day before.

The officer says the forces attacked Thursday night some 160 miles (260 kilometers) south of Nouakchott. He says he heard reports of casualties on the government side. The captain asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

Security forces in the West African nation stopped Wednesday morning's attack by firing on the vehicle, setting off an explosion and killing three suspected terrorists.

The North Africa franchise of al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the attempted attack that appeared to be headed for military and government buildings.