Africa

Ivorian eyewitness: Bodies on Abidjan's streets

Soldiers loyal to Ivory Coast presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara ride in a vehicle in the main city Abidjan, 6 April 2011
Image caption Pro-Ouattara forces are patrolling some suburbs of the main city of Abidjan

For nearly a week residents of Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan have been sheltering indoors as forces battle each other in the city.

Troops opposed to incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo have launched a final assault on his presidential residence.

Mr Gbagbo insists he won November's run-off vote, but election officials found that his rival Alassane Ouattara was the winner.

A man living in the centre of Abidjan told the BBC's Focus on Africa about events on Wednesday as he went out to look for supplies.

Deux Plateaux suburb resident:

I took a walk and we found three dead bodies on the floor.

A couple of minutes later there was a convoy of armed men, some of them had AK-47s, bazookas, double barrels, knives, swords; others had Uzis.

There were 25 cars - four-by-fours - with about seven men per car. It [the convoy] kept on surveying the area.

These were pro-Ouattara guys.

Some of us tried to run away.

But they said: "No, no, no, listen don't run, we're your friends, there's no problem.

"Buy what you want to buy because it's curfew soon… Do everything you have to do and go home."

And they drove off.

The dead bodies were men with lots of bizarre things on them - like juju and [black magic] charms.

Some of them had gloves - normally when you see guys who have gloves it's for them to hold the AK-47s because once you start shooting they become very, very hot.

The gunfire today started at 6 in the morning.

It was coming from the main military camp called Akban.

Now it's much more calm.

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