Côte dIvoire Annan condemns deadly attack on western town

As the United Nations peacekeeping mission reported that seven more people were killed in the western Côte d’Ivoire town of Douékoué, bringing the death tally in the troubled area to 57, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the action by “armed elements.”The Secretary-General urged the Ivorian authorities to conduct a full enquiry and ensure that the perpetrators were quickly brought to justice, a UN spokesman said, adding that a total 65 other victims had been wounded since the attacks started Monday night. Mr. Annan “calls on all parties concerned to refrain from any action that may lead to an escalation of tensions between various communities in Côte d’Ivoire,” Stephane Dujarric told journalists at UN Headquarters.The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) meanwhile reported that some people from the community under attack were burnt in their homes and others were slashed with machetes, he said. “The extent of the damage is massive and cannot be quantified at the moment.”Some 15,000 people were sheltering at the Catholic Church compound, as thousands were seen fleeing the town yesterday, Mr. Dujarric said.The UN mission said yesterday that it had reinforced its troops with mobile patrols and stationary units in the area, which is under Ivorian Security and Defence Forces (FDS) control. UNOCI had sent a team of human rights experts to the area and called on the Government to arrest the perpetrators and try them in conformity with the law.

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