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Hundreds reported dead in Ivory Coast massacre

French soldiers in Ivory Coast said yesterday they had found the bodies of around 200 civilians massacred on Friday, as fresh violence in the divided west of the country jeopardised its stop-start peace process. A rebel leader in western Ivory Coast yesterday blamed the massacre on Liberian mercenaries loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo’s besieged government. The victims were Muslim residents of the rebel-held town of Bangolo, suspected of being rebel sympathisers, said Ousmane Coulibaly, whose militia is one of three rebel groups which control most of the once prosperous west African country. “I asked the French to come and see the dead. There is an entire neighbourhood that was decimated. All the houses are full of bodies. Only the Imam escaped alive,” Mr Coulibaly told Reuters yester day. “There are more than 200 bodies, maybe 300. And there are more corpses in the bush.” Full Story

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