Three bodies found in Abidjan's Ouattara stronghold

AFP , Tuesday 8 Feb 2011

Three bodies were found Tuesday in an Abidjan district where security forces clashed with backers of Alassane Ouattara

Three bodies were found Tuesday in an Abidjan district where security forces clashed with backers of Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognised winner of the November presidential election, an AFP correspondent said.

Monday, residents of the northern district of Abobo, a Ouattara stronghold, gathered to protest alleged abuses by security forces loyal to strongman Laurent Gbagbo when the clashes broke out.

The demonstrators ransacked two police stations in the district, according to a police source and local residents, before reinforcements were called in during the afternoon.

Youths said they found the three bodies early Tuesday but added that they did not know who they were nor how they died.

One of the three bodies was found near a police station that was attacked by demonstrators Monday.

Access to the police station was barred by a barricade made of tables, with armed troops standing guard.

Further north, two youths were found with their throats cut, including one with his hands and feet tied.

A night-time curfew has been in place since January 12 in Abobo and Anyama, another pro-Ouattara neighbourhood, following unrest that left at least 11 dead, including eight members of security forces.

Monday's clashes came as experts sent by an African Union panel tasked with mediating peace in Ivory Coast met representatives of both sides in the crisis, but not the two rival presidents.

The 20-member delegation has been tapped by a panel of five heads of state, from Burkina Faso, Chad, South Africa, Mauritania and Tanzania, designated by the AU last month to mediate the standoff between Gbagbo and Ouattara.

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