Former Mauritanian junta chief dies of heart attack

Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, the former head of a military junta who ruled Mauritania from 2005 until 2007, died Friday of a heart attack while on holiday, his family and an official news agency said.

Born in 1953, Vall served as the head of a transition government that handed over to Mauritania’s first democratically elected president, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.

Vall led a 2005 coup against dictator Maaouiya Ould Taya, but kept a promise to step aside for elections two years later.

President Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz announced three days of mourning, the Mauritanian Information Agency (AMI) said, while a family source confirmed to AFP he had fallen ill and had a heart attack.

Vall was a longtime critic of Aziz after the current president removed Abdallahi in a separate 2008 coup.

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Ely Ould Mohamed Vall
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