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September 19, 2013

US Charges Malian With Diplomat's Murder

by VOA News

The U.S. government has filed murder charges against a Malian national accused of killing a U.S defense official in Niger 13 years ago.

 Alhassane Ould Mohamed, 42, allegedly shot and killed William Bultemeier in Niger's capital, Niamey, on December 23, 2000.

Bultemeier was working at the U.S. embassy at the time. The U.S. Justice Department says he and some colleagues were leaving a restaurant when Mohamed approached Bultemeier, demanded the keys to his car, and then shot him with a pistol.

An unnamed co-conspirator shot and seriously wounded a U.S. Marine staff sergeant who ran to Bultemeier's aid. The two alleged assailants then drove away in Bultemeier's car, a licensed diplomatic vehicle.

The FBI says Mohamed was arrested in Mali two days after the shooting but escaped in 2002. It says he was convicted in Niger in 2010 for the murder of four Saudi Arabians but escaped from prison again on June 1 of this year.

The FBI says Mohamed sometimes goes by the alias of "Cheibani" and speaks Arabic, French and Tamasheq. It is offering a reward of $20,000 for information leading to his arrest.