World Bulletin/News Desk
Seven United Nations peacekeepers were killed in an ambush in Ivory Coast on Friday while on patrol near the border with neighboring Liberia, the U.N. mission said.
"According to the provisional death toll, seven blue helmets were killed in an ambush ... seven blue helmets from Niger," said Sylvie van den Wildenberg, spokewoman for the mission known by its acronym UNOCI.
It was not immediately clear who attacked the U.N. troops or if any Ivorian troops they were patrolling with were harmed.
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New York-based Human Rights Watch warned earlier this week that Liberian mercenaries and Ivorian fighters who fought on behalf of Gbagbo in the brief civil war last year were launching attacks on Ivory Coast from Liberia.
Van den Wildenberg said the mission had only recently increased its presence in the area, near the towns of Para and Tai, to boost efforts to protect civilians. The troops came under attack just a few kilometres from the border with Liberia.
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