800 Dead in Ivory Coast Fighting
Continuing violence in the Ivory Coast has left at least 800 dead as fighters supporting the internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara clashed with loyalists defending the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to leave office. — JCL
The full horror of the violence sweeping Ivory Coast has emerged as the battle for Abidjan raged and thousands of civilians faced critical shortages.
Forces loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo defied expectations by mounting stubborn resistance in the economic capital for a third day, raising fears of protracted urban warfare and soaring casualties. The heavy weapons fire and fighting left thousands of people barricaded inside their homes and in increasingly urgent need of food, water and medical treatment. Looting is rife amid a sense of lawlessness and anarchy.
Deepening the fear in the capital, it was reported that at least 800 people were massacred in intercommunal violence in the western town of Duékoué, which fell to rebels last week. This was despite the presence of hundreds of UN peacekeepers there.