Local new site Essirage reports that an expectant mother was overcome by tear gas while shopping in an area where police were firing tear gas to disperse anti-slavery demonstrators. The woman was taken to hospital shortly after the incident, when she noticed the baby had stopped moving. A scan just 3 days earlier had shown the child, in its third trimester, was healthy and developing normally. Doctors delivered the child as a still birth. The bereaved parents are in shock and distraught at the loss of their child.
This is not the first reported case of foetal death caused by indiscriminate tear gas use by Mauritania police in recent months, more than one female student has miscarried as a result of the ongoing crackdown. This tragic news also comes close behind the death of a young shopkeeper from tear gas asphyxiation by the deadly chemicals used by police to quell unarmed peaceful demonstrators on 9 June. Activists have retrieved spent tear gas canisters clearly showing some of the cartridges were past their use-by date. It is suspected that the regime buys the expired gas from neighbouring countries in a sort of black market for cheaper expired munitions. Whether buying it direct or through a third party, we do know that the tear gas is made by Nobel Industries of France.