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Mass graves found amid ICRC report of 800 killed in Cote d'Ivoire

04-02-2011 17:04 BJT

ABIDJAN, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Mass graves are found in Cote d'Ivoire while the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reports that at least 800 people were killed this week in the western town of Duekoue.

In a statement released on Saturday by the government of Alassane Ouattara, who is internationally recognized as the presidential-elect, said mass graves were discovered in the west of the country, linking the killing to fighters loyal to his presidential rival Laurent Gbagbo.

The statement located the graves "especially in Toulepleu, Blolequin and Guiglo," holding responsible for the killing the forces loyal to Gbagbo, mercenaries and his militiamen.

Meanwhile, the ICRC said in a report that "at least 800 persons were killed on March 29 in Duekoue in intercommunal violence."

Duekoue is the gateway to almost all of the southern regions under Gbagbo's control, especially to the political capital Yamoussoukro and to the town of San Pedro, which has the main port for cocoa export.

Widespread looting was reported on March 29 in Duekoue, 500 km west of the economic capital Abidjan, after the strategic town was taken by the pro-Ouattara Republican Forces the previous day.

The looting was reported against the backdrop of conflicts between the Malinke ethnic group originated from the north and the Guere natives. They were engaged in violent clashes on the eve of the Nov. 28 presidential run-off.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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