Red Cross: At least 800 dead in Ivory Coast

GENEVA — At least 800 people were killed in intercommunal violence in one town in Ivory Coast this week, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Saturday, as rival forces continued to battle for power in the country.

Fierce fighting appeared to be continuing in Ivory Coast’s main city of Abidjan Saturday with troops loyal to its iincumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo fending off attacks by forces supporting Alassane Ouattara’s rival claim to the presidency.

ICRC officials visited the Carrefour area of Duekoue on Thursday and Friday to assess needs and gather testimony, the Red Cross said in a statement said.

“We have information that at least 800 persons were killed on March 29 (Tuesday) in Duekoue in intercommunal violence,” ICRC spokeswoman Dorothea Krimitsas told Reuters. “Our colleagues saw hundreds of bodies … We strongly suspect that was the result of intercommunal violence.”

On Monday, the town was taken by the fighters vying to install the democratically elected Ouattara.

Ouattara’s government Saturday denied those fighters were involved.

ICRC officials evacuated 28 bodies to the local morgue and will continue in this work.

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