More than 100 bodies found in Ivory Coast

Laurent Gbagbo, shown at the United Nations Sept. 26, 2007. (UPI Photo/Monika Graff)
Laurent Gbagbo, shown at the United Nations Sept. 26, 2007. (UPI Photo/Monika Graff) | License Photo

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, April 8 (UPI) -- More than 100 bodies were found in Ivory Coast, which has been torn by a conflict between forces backing rivals for the presidency, the United Nations said.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said some of the victims were burned alive and others were thrown into a well, the BBC reported Friday.


"The human rights team investigating ... in west [Ivory Coast] found more than 100 bodies in the past 24 hours in three locations," Colville said. "All the incidents appear to be ethnically motivated."

Alassane Ouattara, internationally recognized as the winner of a November presidential election, has been fighting Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to cede power. Reports indicate Gbagbo is in a bunker at his compound in Abidjan.

The announcement of the discovery of the bodies followed reports of mass killings in Duekoue after the town was taken by pro-Ouattara forces. Each side blamed the other for the deaths, which the International Committee of the Red Cross said totaled at least 800.

Gbagbo has said he would not surrender, even as pro-Ouattara forces surrounded his home.


Ouattara asked the European Union to end sanctions against Ivory Coast so he could resume cocoa exports through the port of San Pedro to aid the country's economy. The European Union said would consider easing the sanctions, the BBC said.

The International Rescue Committee estimated more than 1 million people were displaced inside the country and at least 100,000 others fled to Liberia.

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