An enormous explosion shook the capital of Nouakchott around 3 a.m. when the army attacked the booby-trapped Toyota Land Cruiser as it attempted to drive into the heart of the city. An army official said eight soldiers were wounded.

A high-ranking army official says three suspected terrorists were killed after security forces opened fire on a car loaded with explosives in the Mauritanian capital early Wednesday.

An enormous explosion shook the capital of Nouakchott around 3 a.m. when the army attacked the booby-trapped Toyota Land Cruiser as it attempted to drive into the heart of the city. The official said eight soldiers were wounded.

The army colonel asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the press. He said security forces had been tracking three SUVs entering the country from northern Mali which appeared suspicious.

Mauritania has come under increasing attack by a local offshoot of al-Qaeda operating in the northern section of the Sahara desert.

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