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updated 8/24/2010 10:36:14 PM ET 2010-08-25T02:36:14

A military official says a suicide bomber has attempted to drive a truck loaded with explosives into an army barrack but was shot and killed when he refused to stop the car.

The high-ranking officer who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media says the truck exploded just outside the barracks, damaging several buildings in the town of Nema, located 1,200 miles (1,500 kilometers) from Nouakchott.

The attack early Wednesday morning comes two days after terror group al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb, or AQMI, released two Spanish hostages they had kidnapped last November. Several weeks ago, AQMI had said they planned to avenge a joint raid on one of their bases led by Mauritanian and French commandos.

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