Ivorian village attacked, 3 killed: Gbagbo ministry

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 18, 2011 4:35 PM
Ivorian village attacked, 3 killed: Gbagbo ministry

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - At least three Ivorians were killed and 30 wounded in an armed attack on a village seen as loyal to incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, his interior ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The attack happened overnight in Anokoua-Koute, the ministry said of an area populated by the largely pro-Gbagbo Ebrie tribe. The village is within an Abidjan suburb ruled by insurgents who profess support for Gbagbo's rival, Alassane Ouattara.

The attack was separately confirmed by two witnesses. The pro-Ouattara New Forces (FN) were not immediately available for comment.

"Overnight, the village of Anokoua-Koute was attacked by the rebels," said interior ministry spokesman Abdoulaye Traore.

"This criminal attack caused three deaths, 30 wounded and a number of people to be displaced, of which 700 have been received by a Catholic church," the statement said.

Two witnesses who said they fled the attack also reported it. Justin Doba, a resident, said it happened shortly after a gun battle between forces backing Ouattara and Gbagbo, part of a litany of such battles in northern Abidjan in the past week.

"The security forces left and the rebels came back to the village," he said. "They started firing everywhere and set fire to houses, some with people in them. Some youths tried to stop them and had their throats cut."