An al-Qaida affiliate purportedly claimed responsibility for a shooting attack on the Israeli Embassy in Mauritania's capital, saying it had carried out the assault in response to Israeli policies in the Gaza Strip, an Arab television station reported Saturday.
At least one gunman opened fire on the Israeli Embassy in Mauritania early Friday, setting off a gunbattle with guards that wounded three bystanders, including three French citizens who had apparently been visiting a disco and restaurant adjacent to the embassy compound. Guards at the embassy returned fire, but no embassy staff were wounded.
Israel has been restricting deliveries of gas and other supplies to Gaza in response to rocket attacks targeting Israeli towns. The Israeli clampdown has prompted protests in Mauritania, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation.
The Arab satellite TV station Al-Jazeera said that Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, an affiliate of Osama bin Laden's global terror network, issued a statement saying it had carried out the attack Friday morning as a reprisal against Israel's policies in the Gaza Strip.