Skip to main content

10 soldiers killed in two separate attacks in Ivory Coast

From Olivier Monnier, for CNN
updated 6:09 AM EDT, Tue August 7, 2012
The Ivory Coast Republican Force ride to a search operation on Monday, following a string of attacks targeting the military.
The Ivory Coast Republican Force ride to a search operation on Monday, following a string of attacks targeting the military.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Five Ivory Coast soldiers are killed by unidentified gunmen Monday, the defense minister says
  • A separate attack Sunday killed another five soldiers
  • An attack also occurred Sunday in Abengourou but no one was killed, state media reports

Abidjan, Ivory Coast (CNN) -- Ten Ivory Coast soldiers have been killed in attacks Sunday and Monday by unidentified gunmen in Abidjan, the economic capital, the defense minister said.

The attacks come just before the country celebrates its independence on Tuesday.

The first of the attacks occurred before dawn on Sunday and took place in Abidjan's neighborhood of Yopougon, a stronghold of the former president, Laurent Gbago.

The gunmen attacked the Abidjan's 17th district police station after about 50 people were arrested in the neighborhood in a preventive raid carried out by the Ivorian army earlier in the night, defense minister Paul Koffi Koffi said by phone from Abidjan Sunday.

Read more: Thousands flee in wake of clashes in western Ivory Coast

Rebuilding Ivory Coast's cocoa trade

He said six armed men carried out the attack in which three soldiers were killed.

"The gunmen arrived in a taxi and started to fire without any warning," said Koffi Koffi. The assailants wore army-style uniforms and were armed with AK-47 rifles, he said.

The group of armed men then fired at a checkpoint of the Forces RĂ©publicaines de CĂ´te d'Ivoire, the national army's official name. The base is located in the same neighborhood and the shooting left two more soldiers dead, the defense minister said.

There was no reason so far to think the attack was anything other than "an act of banditry," Koffi Koffi said Sunday.

But Monday before dawn, 30 gunmen attacked an Abidjan military camp, killing five more. Again, some were wearing army-like uniforms, though not all, he said.

He added that one soldier is missing and one attacker was killed in the incident.

Read more: Seven peacekeepers killed in Ivory Coast

An Ivoirian soldier who was in the camp during the fight said the gunmen were targeting soldiers from the Dioula ethnic group, a population native to the Northern Ivory Coast and said to support President Alassane Ouattara.

At least 3,000 people were killed last year in five months of post-election violence after ex-President Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power to Ouattara.

An emergency security meeting with army and government officials was held Monday in Abidjan by Ouattara, Koffi Koffi said. The president pledged to reinforce the security in the country before the Independence Day, Koffi Koffi said.

There was another attack Sunday against a military camp in Abengourou, which is about 140 miles northeast of Abidjan, the Ivory Coast's state media reported, citing anonymous sources. The report said no one was killed.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT