World Bulletin/News Desk
At least seven people were killed and dozens injured on Friday when angry mobs set fire to a U.N.-protected camp for civilians forced from their homes in western Ivory Coast, underscoring tensions in the zone.
The United Nations said the attack on Nahibly camp - an apparent revenge attack for an overnight robbery in the nearby town of Duekoue that killed five - forced 5,000 people to flee.
Those in the camp were Ivorians who fled their homes during last year's civil war. While much of the country is rebounding from the conflict, Friday's attack is the latest in a string of incidents highlighting tensions linked to land and ethnicity in the west, near the border with Liberia.
"The (U.N.'s) representative would like to underscore, once more, the seriousness of the situation in the west of Ivory Coast," the world body said in a statement on Friday evening.
The U.N. said seven people had been killed and 13 injured.
"(They) arrived this morning and started to chase us from the camp and set it on fire. They killed three people in front of my eyes, and so I fled with my son," camp resident Murielle Kapes told Reuters by telephone.
Another witness who entered the camp in the late afternoon counted eight bodies, some of them burned beyond recognition.
A source at the main hospital in Duekoue said more than 40 people had arrived from the camp with injuries mainly caused by machetes and wooden clubs. Five had been shot.
The camp, the country's only remaining facility for those displaced by last year's war, is managed by the United Nations and partner agencies. A detachment of armed peacekeepers from Ivory Coast's U.N. peacekeeping mission, UNOCI, was deployed outside Nahibly to protect the camp's residents.
The U.N. did not comment on how the attack took place despite the presence of the peacekeepers and the United States called for an immediate enquiry into the events.
"The United States urgently asks that the Ivorian government and UNOCI take immediate measures in order to assure the protection of civilians in the region," the U.S. Embassy said.
Residents of the town told Reuters the attack on the camp was a response to an attack during the night by gunmen on a neighbourhood not far from the camp.
"Everything is on fire. ... It's horrible. I don't have words," another witness said, asking not to be named.
Many of the camp's residents fled into Duekoue to seek shelter at the Catholic mission there, which a local priest said had also been threatened by crowds of angry youths.
Duekoue, at the heart of some the country's richest cocoa farmland, has long been a flashpoint for ethnic violence aggravated by disputes over land ownership. Human rights investigators say around 800 people were massacred there during last year's conflict.
The border zone has remained the most sensitive part of the country since post-election clashes ended in April of last year.
Many fighters loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to cede power despite losing a 2010 election sparked the conflict, crossed into Liberia. Rights groups accuse them of having since launched a series of cross-border raids.
The U.N. estimates there are some 86,000 still displaced in Ivory Coast, mostly living with host families.
Military police in the Brazilian state of Bahia reach a deal to end a two-day strike which was accompanied by a surge in murders, violence crime and theft.
On Wednesday, UKAWA members walked out of a Constituent Assembly (CA) session, charging that the draft is promoting segregation instead of enhancing unity and warning that the charter-drafting process could lead to social unrest.
After a meeting at a Saudi airbase, the foreign ministers agreed to stay away from backing organizations or individuals that threaten the security and stability of GCC member states as well as refrain from supporting what they called "hostile" media.
Building the radar base on the island, which is much closer to China than to Japan's main islands, could extend Japanese monitoring to the Chinese mainland and track Chinese ships and aircraft
Twenty eight passengers are officially listed as dead, 179 have been rescued and 268 are missing, presumed trapped in the stricken vessel
Ding Jiaxi was sentenced to three-and-a-half years, Zhao Changqing got a two-and-a-half year sentence and Li Wei and Zhang Baocheng got two-year terms, the Haidian court in Beijing said on its microblog
The U.S. official said the phone conversation touched on Obama's April 23-25 visit to Japan, talks on the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) multilateral trade deal, and Ukraine
The avalanche hit the most popular route to the mountain's peak and three Nepali guides were injured and some people may be missing
Friday's attack is the latest in a string of vandalism incidents in Arab villages over the past several months.
Conservationists recent asked the government to declare ongoing elephant and rhino poaching as a national disaster.
"The coalition unanimously decided to freeze the party's membership for violating the coalition's policies and objectives," Mastour Ahmed, political secretary for the Sudanese Congress Party said.
Kenya shelters a total of close to 800,000 refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Aid agencies were forced to halt operations in Rakhine late last month when hundreds of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists destroyed staff homes, offices and warehouses as well as boats used to transport supplies.
Algerian opposition figure Ali Belhadj was arrested on Thursday while following up presidential polls capital Algiers, his office has announced.
But China, a veto-wielding Security Council member, has signaled that it could shield its neighbor North Korea from potential prosecution.
This is the second Tunisian diplomat to be kidnapped in Libya within the last month.