At least 20 killed in Ivory Coast clashes
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Forces loyal to the two men claiming Ivory Coast’s presidency clashed in the streets of the commercial capital yesterday, killing at least 20 people and bolstering fears that the world’s top cocoa producer is on the verge of another civil war.
Explosions and gunfire were heard throughout Abidjan — once known as the “Paris of Africa’’ for its cosmopolitan nightlife and chic boutiques.
An errant rocket-propelled grenade struck an outer perimeter wall of the US Embassy, but no injuries were reported and the damage was minor, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in Washington.
Ivory Coast has had two presidents and two governments since a disputed Nov. 28 runoff election.
Alassane Ouattara was declared the winner by the country’s electoral commission and was recognized by the UN, United States, France, and the African Union as having beaten incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.
The next day, however, the constitutional council overturned the results after invalidating a half-million votes from Ouattara strongholds.