At least 12 killed, 58 hurt in Bouake

At least 12 people have died and 58 were wounded in fighting between government forces and rebels holding the Ivory Coast city of Bouake, an AFP journalist reported on Tuesday.

Bouake, the second city of Ivory Coast, which lies some 300 kilometres (180 miles) northwest of the west African nation’s main city, Abidjan, has been the scene of some of the bloodiest clashes so far since the start of an army rebellion in the former French colony on September 19.

Since the start of the offensive to retake Bouake on Sunday, an AFP journalist counted eight bodies—an alleged thief executed by rebels, three burnt corpses, the bodies of two civilians and two men in uniform.

Hospital sources said 62 people had been admitted with injuries after two days of fighting on Sunday and Monday. Four of them had died—two military men and two civilians—bringing the latest known toll to 12.

The government, so far, has not given any official toll. But sources said about 20 percent of the 180 government soldiers who entered Bouake from the southeast could have been killed or wounded.

“Thirty-three people came (to the hospital) on Monday, including serious cases with bullet wounds to the abdomen,” the source said.
“Twenty-nine came on Tuesday, a quarter of them civilians who dared not venture outdoors on Monday night,” he said saying most of the wounds had been caused by flying bullets and shrapnel.

Medical sources in Bouake said they only had two days of reserve medicines, but added that they had informed the French non-governmental organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), and the local Red Cross of their requirements.

An AFP correspondent in Bouake reported the situation calm on Tuesday, after two days of fierce fighting in which the insurgents repulsed government troops. - Sapa-AP

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