Ivory Coast Militants Blocking Likely Mass Grave

Situation worsens in beleaguered nation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 24, 2010 4:04 PM CST
Ivory Coast Militants Block Access to Possible Mass Grave
Unidentified parishioners attend an evening mass, at Paroisse Saint Jean de Cocody in Abidjan, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010. The United Nations said Thursday that at least 173 people have been killed and dozens of others have gone missing or been tortured following Ivory Coast's disputed presidential election,...   (Sunday Alamba)

Masked gunmen with rocket launchers are blocking access to what officials believe may be a mass grave site in Ivory Coast, the United Nations said, as concerns grow that the West African nation could return to civil war. The UN reported that heavily armed forces allied with Laurent Gbagbo and joined by masked men, were preventing people from getting to the village of N'Dotre, where the global body said "allegations point to the existence of a mass grave."

The UN did not elaborate on the possible victims, though it has expressed concerns about hundreds of arrests, and dozens of cases of torture and disappearance during the political turmoil since the contested presidential runoff vote was held nearly a month ago. "As the violence goes on the number of dead, wounded, and missing persons is increasing rapidly," a UN deputy spokesman said last night. (More Ivory Coast stories.)

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