Mauritania leader to return home Saturday

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz will return to his country Saturday from France, where he was recovering after being "accidentally" shot by a soldier last month, state media reported.

Abdel Aziz was treated in France after the October 13 shooting. Officials say he was shot in the arm by a soldier who fired on the president's motorcade when it refused to stop on the road, but the opposition has raised doubts about the story.

The official AMI news agency reported on Tuesday that Abdel Aziz would return to Mauritania on Saturday "after care and a period of recovery in France."

A member of Aziz's family confirmed the information to AFP.

In Paris, Abdel Aziz had earlier told journalists he would return to his country within a few days.

"I am counting on returning very quickly, in a few days," he said after meeting French President Francois Hollande.

Abdel Aziz was admitted to a military hospital near Paris a day after the shooting and was released 10 days later.

Mauritanian opposition parties last month accused authorities of leaving a power vacuum in the president's absence and called for an investigation into the shooting.

Abdel Aziz will head home amid international efforts to resolve the crisis in neighbouring Mali, where Islamists have seized control of swathes of the north.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed last week to send 3,300 troops into Mali to reclaim the north. The plan must go before the UN Security Council by the end of the month.