The inhabitants of Bassikounou, Mauretania, heard thunderous detonations early on a cold morning on October 16, 2006, and many expected that the end of the
world had arrived. Very few visually witnessed the fireball itself, as most were awakened by the noise and by that time the light show was over. Beille
Mint Cheikh, a 68-year-old resident of the Dhar al Nema region, said, "A big star fell down at Bassikounou." Due to the remoteness of the area, it took
some time to recover material from the fall. It wasn't until a few months later that the international meteorite community became aware of this fall, and
Svend Buhl's splendid report
threw appropriate light on this fantastic event. Initially only a single 3165 gram individual mass was found - the El Moichine mass - but not long after
the scope of the fall was uncovered by Aziz Habibi and his partner Mohamed Zeroual.