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Shell kills 25 in Abidjan market

A shell struck a busy market area in Abidjan Thursday, killing at least 25 people and fuelling fears that Ivory Coast's worsening post-election violence could plunge the country into a full-blown civil war.


AFP - Up to 30 people were killed Thursday when forces loyal to Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo attacked an Abidjan suburb that is a stronghold of his rival for the presidency, a UN spokesman said.

Spokesman Hamadoun Toure said a UN team had visited the northern Abobo suburb and "could see that the armed forces of president Laurent Gbagbo fired at least six missiles on the market and surrounds, causing the death of 25 to 30 people and injuring between 40 and 60."

He said the UN mission in Ivory Coast, known as UNOCI, "expresses its indignation in the face of such atrocities against innocent civilians. The perpetrators will not go unpunished."

The 10,000-strong UN mission "reserves the right to take appropriate measures to in future prevent such unacceptable acts in accordance with its mandate to protect civilians."

Toure said the UN team which visited Abobo was made up of a patrol accompanied by human rights experts.

Earlier in the day witnesses canvassed by AFP reported at least 12 deaths.

The attack followed shortly after UNOCI announced some 410 people had died since the start of the country's crisis, sparked by a disputed election in November 2010 which threatens to escalate into a civil war with far-reaching effects in the west African region.

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