Six dead in pre-dawn raid on Ivory Coast military camp

August 6, 2012 15:11

ABIDJAN - Gunmen killed five soldiers and seized weapons in a pre-dawn raid on an army camp in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan on Monday, military officials said, heightening fears of renewed instability in the world's top cocoa-growing country.

The West African state, where five soldiers were killed in a similar attack on a police station and army roadblock in another part of Abidjan only the day before, is emerging from years of political turmoil but remains awash with illegal weapons.

A group of unidentified heavily armed men in civilian clothes stormed the army camp in the Akouedo neighborhood, on the eastern edge of the city, at around 3:30 a.m., an officer present at the base told Reuters.

Fighting lasted nearly three hours before the army took back control of the area.

"They attacked the two entrances to the camp simultaneously and opened fire. We've counted five dead on our side and one among the assailants," said Colonel Cherif Moussa, the Ivorian army's deputy chief of staff.

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