ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — The head of the army warned that his troops reserve the right to retaliate following two days of deadly clashes in an opposition stronghold neighborhood, raising concerns about more violence amid Ivory Coast's political crisis.
The residents of the Abobo area in Abidjan voted in large numbers for opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, whose victory in the Nov. 28 presidential election has been recognized by the international community. Incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power, still controls the military.
Authorities have imposed a curfew in Abobo and sent in a convoy of military trucks following the clashes that began Tuesday after a police raid. At least four civilians and as many as seven police officers have been killed in the unrest.
"In order to find these people attacking the republic inside their hiding places, the armed forces of Ivory Coast want all human rights organizations, as well as the national and international community to know that that these attacks against us are equal to acts of war ... putting us in a position of legitimate self-defense," army head Philippe Mangou said in a declaration read on state TV.