NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania – Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who was injured in a "friendly fire" shooting Saturday, is recovering rapidly at a French military hospital in Paris, according to a family member.
"My brother is doing well and could leave the hospital tonight," Mana Abdel Aziz, the president's sister, told The Associated Press Monday. She said her brother told her over the phone that doctors at Percy hospital plan to release him soon.
"I spoke on the phone this morning with the president, he told me that the doctors will let him out of the hospital as soon as he has a positive checkup," she said.
Aziz, 55, had surgery in Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott, over the weekend after being hit by a bullet when Mauritanian soldiers accidentally fired on his car, 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the capital. Aziz said the shooting was a mistake. He was travelling in a single car, not in the presidential convoy, and his car did not stop when the army fired warning shots.
Aziz, who is married and has six children, came to power in a military coup on August 6, 2008 and became head of the junta ruling the country. He resigned from the army to run for president and he won the election on July 18, 2009, with 52 percent of the votes.
Aziz is accused by radical Islamists of waging war against them on behalf of the West. Under the direction of Aziz, the Mauritanian military has fought Islamist extremist in neighboring northern Mali.