24-05-2022 09:52 AM Jerusalem Timing

Ivory Coast Death Toll 800 and Rising: UN

Ivory Coast Death Toll 800 and Rising: UN

The United Nations said it has so far confirmed about 800 dead in the Ivory Coast conflict since December, but warned that the toll was probably much higher.

The United Nations said Monday it has so far confirmed about 800 dead in the Ivory Coast conflict since December, but warned that the toll was probably much higher.

Authorities in the main city Abidjan reported 400 dead since December, and another 400 bodies have been found in towns in the troubled western part of the country where many massacres have been reported, UN assistant secretary general for human rights Ivan Simonovic told a press conference.

Abidjan has been the scene of major clashes in recent weeks and has become a virtual ghost town, Simonovic said. He estimated that about 150 people had been killed in attacks by heavy weapons used by the forces of ousted leader Laurent Ggbagbo.

The toll in Abidjan was "probably much higher," UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.

The UN assistant secretary general also went to the west of the country last week to investigate massacres, some of which have been blamed on forces of triumphant leader Alassane Ouattara.

He said that 255 bodies had been counted in the city of Doukoue, with most of the victims Gbagbo followers.

Another 104 bodies had been found in the town of Blolequin and 40 in Gou, but he said there were reports that twice that number of dead had been found in Gou.