Côte d'Ivoire

Ivorian Imams slam 'death squads' for targeting Moslems

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Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire (PANA) - "Death squads," which have created terror in Côte d'Ivoire since the outbreak of the crisis last September, have primarily targeted Moslems, says a news release issued here Tuesday by the Superior Council of Imams (COSIM).

According to the release signed by the chairman of the Islamic National Council (CNI), Imam El Hadj Koné Idriss Koudouss, the situation had deteriorated all over the country since the Linas- Marcoussis agreement was signed on 24 January.

Khoudoss cited several cases of Moslems who have been murdered in less than a month, saying these killings had forced a number of believers in Islam to leave the country.

"Due to the frequency and intensity of these odious crimes, certain Muslim believers and Imams have been obliged to leave Côte d'Ivoire, while others are leading a clandestine life," said the release, which urged Muslims not to lose hope and to continue their "usual patience and stamina."

In spite of these ordeals, the release added, the COSIM and CNI have decided to issue an early warning to the nation on all the burning civil society issues.

The cold-blooded murder by security forces of the deputy Imam of a mosque in Anyama, a suburb of Abidjan was the latest incident to plunge the Muslim community into mourning.

Two people were killed and several others injured during violent protest demonstrations by Moslems, which also caused substantial material damage.

Pan African News Agency
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