A group of suspected members of the Movement of the Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) have carried out a surprise attack on a Senegalese national highway leaving half a dozen people injured.
Ousmane Mbodj, a regional administrator and a Chinese national were among the victims of the attack, which occurred Monday at about 16:00 local time (GMT), according to the Monday edition of the Senegalese daily "Walfadjri."
The regional administrator, who was driving back home from Dakar, capital city of Senegal, together with his two children, niece and mechanic fell into an ambush laid by suspected members of the MFDC, a group that fights for the independence of Casamance, southern Senegal, the daily said adding that the vehicle in which they were traveling was sprayed with bullets.
Similarly, a Chinese national, who was driving on the same road in the company of friends, was seriously injured when the same assailants sprayed his car with bullets, according to the same source.
The two men were taken to the regional hospital in Ziguinchor in very bad conditions. Meanwhile, Mbodj underwent surgery Monday and there were plans to evacuate him to Dakar for further specialized treatment, hospital sources said.
The attack underscores the fragility of the uneasy calm that is prevailing in Casamance where such incidents have often acted as a reminder of the necessity for the conclusion of a general peace agreement.
Mbodj is the third regional administrator to fall victim to an attack by armed elements suspected of being part of the armed wing of the MFDC since the outbreak of the Casamance conflict.
On Monday, after the news of the attack, many people in Ziguinchor sought to link the incident to the seizure of two lorries belonging to the resistance movement by the military police. The MFDC officials had strongly called for the restitution of their vehicles.