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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – Soldiers backing Ivory Coast's defiant leader mowed down women protesting his refusal to leave power in a hail of gunfire Thursday, killing at least six and shocking a nation where women's marches have historically been used as a last resort against an unrestrained army.
The three-month old conflict in Ivory Coast has entered a new level of intensity. With each passing day, the regime of Laurent Gbagbo is proving it is willing to go to any length to stay in office following an election that international observers say he lost.
"That's when we saw the tanks," she said. "There were thousands of women. And we said to ourselves, 'They won't shoot at women.' ... I heard a boom. They started spraying us. ... I tried to run and fell down. The others trampled me. Opening fire on unarmed women? It's inconceivable."
Nearly 400 people have been killed in the west African country, including 32 in the last 24 hours, almost all of them men who had voted for opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, according to U.N. figures and combined with deaths confirmed by The Associated Press.
Gbagbo, a former history teacher, has refused to cede power, even though U.N.-certified results showed he had lost the race by half-a-million votes to Ouattara. Instead, he demanded the U.N. leave the country and accused them of meddling in state affairs.
For months, his security forces led near-daily raids in places such as Abobo, and the morgues began filling up with young men shot at point-blank range.
Last week, one of the morgues ran out of space, forcing workers to stack bodies on the floor. In January, the odor from the morgue could be smelled from the parking lot. Now, it projects itself across the street.
Originally posted by Vitchilo
What a cruise missile could achieve in Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Zimbabwe, North Korea... so much... and save so many lives... Just take out the dictator, boom, job done.edit on 4-3-2011 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)