Moroccan and Mauritanian troops have mistakenly fired at each other near the Morocco-Mauritania border. The incident, however, did not cause any casualties.
The Mauritanian National Army announced the incident on Wednesday morning, December 23. Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces, meanwhile, are yet to make a public comment.
According to the Mauritanian army, the confrontation occurred on Tuesday evening after Mauritanian troops, who were following a group of drug smugglers, mistakenly got too close to a Moroccan defense station.
The incident took place north of the Mauritanian village of Inal, approximately 200 kilometers east of the Guerguerat crossing point.
The Moroccan army considered the Mauritanian troops to be a threat and opened fire. The Mauritanian army also fired back, according to the rules of engagement, said the army’s statement.
The confrontation ended after the two military groups recognized each other.
The extra vigilance of Moroccan troops on the border with Mauritania, due to the frequent drug smuggling and human trafficking attempts, possibly contributed to the accidental confrontation.
The nighttime and lack of sunlight also possibly affected the Moroccan and Mauritanian troops’ ability to recognize each other immediately.
Coincidentally, the incident occurred only one day after the Morocco-Mauritania joint military commission held a meeting in Nouakchott.
The meeting aimed to strengthen Moroccan-Mauritanian cooperation in the military and security fields.