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Mauritanian Police Arrest Alleged Coup Attempt Leader - 2004-10-09

Mauritanian police say they have arrested a former army officer accused of organizing at least two failed coup attempts against President Maaouya Ould Taya in the past 16 months.

Police officials say Saleh Ould Hanenna was arrested Saturday near the Senegalese border.

Authorities had blamed Mr. Hanenna for a failed coup attempt in June, 2003 against President Taya and at least one other attempt to overthrow the government this year.

President Taya has faced discontent from the opposition, including Islamic groups, over his decision to establish diplomatic ties with Israel in 1999.