50 found dead in Ivory Coast mass grave

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Dozens of bodies were found piled on top of each other on the edge of an industrial neighborhood, an official said Saturday. The victims were young men who had been shot.

Dozens of bodies were found piled on top of each other on the edge of an industrial neighborhood, an official said Saturday. The victims were young men who had been shot.

The discovery followed three days of violence that drove out junta leader Gen. Robert Guei and then turned to fighting between rival opposition forces in the wake of disputed Oct. 23 elections. The unrest has left some 200 people dead.

The corpses - about 50 - were partially clothed or naked, and were found in Abidjan's Yopougon neighborhood. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said authorities were investigating.

While officials have not said who the victims were, one opposition newspaper, The Patriot, reported the men were followers of opposition leader Alassane Dramane Ouattara and were executed by gendarmes Thursday.

The pro-Ouattara newspaper said the men were killed for joining in the street protests.

While the account could not be confirmed, numerous witnesses had reported seeing security personnel attacking Ouattara's supporters.

Guei had claimed victory in the vote - which was dogged by fraud and unfair competition charges - but in less than a day, he saw power slip from his grasp as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets. Later joined by security forces, they swept opposition leader Laurent Gbagbo to power.

Gbagbo's victory, though, set off another round of violence, as Ouattara's supporters launched protests to call for new elections. Those protests lead to even more violence as political fighting lead to horrific sectarian attacks.

Ouattara had been excluded from the elections by the Supreme Court.

Comments