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Violent clashes result in 800 deaths in Ivory Coast

The International Committee of the Red Cross says more than 800 people were massacred this week alone in Ivory Coast, as strongman Laurent Gbagbo continues to cling to power.

Security forces loyal to strongman Laurent Gbagbo stand guard on a main thoroughfare adjacent to United Nations headquarters.
Security forces loyal to strongman Laurent Gbagbo stand guard on a main thoroughfare adjacent to United Nations headquarters.
Image: AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

GUNFIRE CONTINUED IN Ivory Coast’s main city today as rebels sought to remove the incumbent who refuses to leave office, after a week of violent ethnic fighting has left an estimated 800 people dead.

Shots were heard on Saturday morning just blocks from Laurent Gbagbo’s presidential palace in Abidjan.

Also Saturday, UN peacekeepers said they have a camp in the western town where the International Committee of the Red Cross says more than 800 people were massacred this week. UN spokeswoman Juliette Amantchi confirmed peacekeepers have a base at Duekoue, but said she had no information about the killings.

Security forces loyal to strongman Laurent Gbagbo fatally shot six women protesting his refusal to leave office Thursday, as the UN said more than 200,000 people have fled the intensified fighting. The demonstrators were cut down by machine gunfire in Abobo, the suburb that has been the scene of the bloodiest clashes in the three-month-long-crisis.

On Monday, the town was taken by the fighters vying to install democratically elected President Alassane Ouattara. Ouattara’s government Saturday denied those fighters were involved.

- AP

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