Ivory Coast: Gunmen attack power stations, military posts


An Ivorian soldier stands with his weapon in front of the thermal power plant Azito, in the Yopougon district of western Abidjan on October 15, 2012. Gunmen attacked the power plant overnight in Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan, while police came under attack at Bonoua, further east, Defence Minister Paul Koffi Koffi said today.



Gunmen attacked a power plant in the Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan overnight, and a second attack targeted police in Bonoua, according to Defense Minister Paul Koffi Koffi.

"Armed men in military uniform were reported at the Azito power station at around 3 a.m. and tried to take control of the site," Koffi Koffi told Agence France Presse. "There were several arrests, we're in the process of heading towards interrogations," he added.

"Around 30 elements tried to take Azito. They were pushed out and 10 were taken prisoner with their arms. They are now being interrogated," he told Reuters.

One of the power station's turbines was damaged in the attack and had to be shut down. Adama Toungara, the mines and energy minister, said, "There won't be any blackouts resulting from the damage, which seem to be serious, because the Azito team knows what they are doing."

More on GlobalPost: Ivory Coast closes border with Ghana

Kouassi Kakao, a spokesman for the military chief of staff, said the attack on a roadblock in Bonoua started at 11 p.m. on Sunday and continued until 5 a.m. on Monday, according to the Associated Press. He said it was too early to determine casualties.

In recent weeks, gunmen have carried out nine attacks on military posts, according to the AP.

The government under current President Alassane Ouattara closed its border with Ghana last month, claiming that the attacks were being launched from the neighboring country, Reuters reported.

Monday's attacks come a week after a United Nations report suggested that supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo have established a base in Ghana.

Gbagbo himself is being held at The Hague, where he is facing charges of crimes against humanity in front of the International Criminal Court, according to AFP.

More on GlobalPost: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma takes over as first female African Union chief