The government has vowed to pursue the census despite the violence. "The government will ... take the necessary time to allow all Mauritanians to register and get secure documents," Interior Minister Mohamed Ould Boilil said in a radio and television address.

Critics claim the census discriminates against black people, but Ould Boilil insisted it was aimed at giving Mauritania "a modern and trustworthy biometric register." The demonstrator was shot and killed when police tried to disperse people protesting the census in Maghama.

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