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Attack on Ivorian village kills 13: minister

17 may 2014, 16:43
Photo courtesy of hrw.org
Photo courtesy of hrw.org

An armed gang attacked an Ivorian village near the border with Liberia, killing three soldiers and 10 civilians, AFP reports citing Defence Minister Paul Koffi Koffi.

The raid against Faiteh, a village in southwest Ivory Coast, took place on Thursday. Koffi Koffi said two children aged five and seven were among the victims.

He described the attackers as "a group of around 40 bandits armed with Kalashnikovs and bladed weapons who have been marauding in the area to rob homes, plunder harvests and torch villages."

One resident of the devastated village told AFP by phone Friday that he could still hear sporadic gunfire.

"The town's residents have nearly all fled into the forest," he said.

Koffi Koffi refused to elaborate on the nationality of the attackers: "I do not want to kindle fresh controversy, what we are doing now is combing the area."

Four Ivorian soldiers were killed in a similar raid on a nearby village in February. The government had alleged the gunmen were from Liberia but Monrovia vehemently denied the accusation.

The border region, Ivory Coast's least stable area, is chronically rocked by land feuds and ethnic vendettas.

Eighteen people, including seven UN peacekeepers, were killed in a single cross-border attack in 2012.

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