Killer of French tourists dies in secret location in Mauritania
NOUAKCHOTT - A Mauritanian jailed for the murder of four French tourists in 2007 has died in the secret location where he was being held, a security source said on Tuesday.
The body of Maarouf Ould Haiba, who was 35, has been brought to Nouakchott and will be handed over to his parents, the source said.
No details have been given on the circumstances of Ould Haiba's death on Monday.
He was one of three convicted for the murders, claimed by Al-Qaeda's regional franchise in north and west Africa.
Fellow Mauritanians Sidi Ould Sidna, 29, and Mohamed Ould Chabarnou, 36, are being held in the same prison in the north, the source said.
The three were sentenced to death in 2010, although capital punishment has not been applied in Mauritania since 1987.
Their victims, shot in December 2007 in southern Mauritania, were members of the same family.
Their deaths were ordered by Algerian jihadist Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a former leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb who broke away to form a new Islamist militia at the end of 2012.
The murder of the tourists marked a turning point for the previously peaceful nation, leading to the cancellation of the Paris-Dakar rally a few days later.