Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire: Fighting continues in the west

ABIDJAN, 20 February (IRIN) - Rebels of the Mouvement patriotique de Cote d'Ivoire and loyalist soldiers clashed on two occasions on Wednesday near the central-western town of Zuenoula, Ivorian army spokesman Col Jules Yao-Yao reported on Thursday. He said the fighting took place in Badiefla, a village 20km northwest of Zuenoula. It lasted from 7:00 GMT to 11:00GMT, resumed at 14:30 GMT and ended at 18:00GMT.
There was no immediate independent confirmation of the incident.

Yao Yao said about 10 servicemen were wounded, three of them seriously, and that one of the wounded was missing. The army had no details on rebel casualties, he added. The spokesman said in a communique that the MPCI fighters used rocket launchers, mortars and Kalachnikovs. "This attack constitutes another violation of the cease-fire," added Yao Yao.

He said the French and West African military commands of French and West African troops patrolling a ceasefire line separating the two forces had been informed of the matter.

The ceasefire was signed on 17 October, one month after the insurrection broke out. Since then, each side has accused the other of violating the truce. In January, another ceasefire was signed with two rebel groups who emerged in western Cote d'Ivoire. Despite the ceasefire, that area has now become the most volatile region in Cote d'Ivoire.


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