Three civilians killed in new Ivory Coast attacks
DABOU, IVORY COAST: Armed men attacked an army base, a prison and police stations overnight near Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan in the latest of a series of assaults, military sources and locals said yesterday.
“Our positions were attacked at Dabou on the corridor leading into the town,” said a source in the Republican Forces of Ivory Coast (FRCI). “But the situation is under control. Our men pushed back the attack. A sweep (for the assailants) is under way."
Two police headquarters and the town prison also came under attack, according to a source in the security forces, while local member of Parliament Mohammed Sess Soukou said some 100 prisoners had escaped.
The attacks in and around Abidjan have sparked a sharp rise in tension more than a year after the post-electoral crisis of December 2010 to April 2011 claimed 3,000 lives.
“The prison was smashed, all the prisoners got out, some have been recaptured but many have fled,” Sess Soukou told journalists, adding that out of at least 150 inmates who escaped, just 50 had been caught.
However prison governor Adjoua Ouattara said that there were 119 inmates in the jail before the attack, but was unable to give the number who had been recaptured.
A resident of Dabou, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Abidjan, said earlier he had been hearing heavy gunfire since Wednesday at 2300 GMT (11 p.m.). “No one can go out, we are holed up in our homes,” he said.
AFP journalists saw the bodies of three civilians killed in the local morgue. One was a bus driver who was the victim of a carjacking and the other two were workers at a local bakery.
Posted by: Steve White