NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) — A Mauritanian was killed in an accident involving a member of the mission personnel of the U.S. Embassy, officials said Saturday.
A police commissioner involved in the investigation said that an officer with the U.S. military slowed down his Toyota 4x4 pickup when he saw a man trying to cross the street in eastern Nouakchott. But the man then came in the front of the vehicle and was hit and killed, he said, adding that this type of accident occurs frequently in the city. Police were investigating, but could not establish deliberate intent, he said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press.
"On the evening of June 4, a member of the mission personnel of the U.S. Embassy in Mauritania was involved in an accident that tragically led to the death of a pedestrian," said State Department spokeswoman Hilary Renner.
"The U.S. Embassy is working closely with Mauritanian authorities to determine the circumstances of the event, and is cooperating fully with the investigation," she said.
Al-Qaida's North African branch released a statement from a member of its Shariah committee urging Mauritania Muslims to take action over the death, according to Washington-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online activity from terrorist groups.
The message was posted on the Twitter account of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb's al-Andalus Media Foundation on June 7, 2013, according to SITE Intelligence. The member said the killing was deliberate and "an affront to Muslims' dignity," it said.
Associated Press reporter Bradley Klapper in Washington contributed to this report.