11 dead as gunmen attack Ivory Coast beach resort

Mar 14, 2016, 07:50 IST | Agencies

Grand-Bassam: At least 11 people were killed on Sunday when heavily-armed gunmen opened fire in the Ivory Coast resort town of Grand-Bassam, leaving bodies strewn on the beach.

Bodies lie on the beach after the armed attack at Ivory Coast. Pic/AFP
Bodies lie on the beach after the armed attack at Ivory Coast. Pic/AFP

“Five men, five women and a child are dead,” a military source said on condition of anonymity after the assault in the resort popular with Westerners. An eyewitness said he saw seven bodies on the beach and another in the Etoile du Sud (Southern Star) hotel, one of the establishments that came under attack in the country’s former French colonial capital.

The assailants, who were “heavily armed and wearing balaclavas, fired at guests at the L’Etoile du Sud, a large hotel which was full of expats in the current heatwave,” one witness said.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the shooting in the resort, which lies on the Gulf of Guinea around 40 kilometres east of the commercial hub Abidjan. Another witness said: “The shots took us by surprise and now we are staying holed up.”

A crowd of several hundred people had gathered at the entrance to Grand-Bassam’s French quarter at the edge of the old town, where a dozen ambulances were on standby. A journalist saw around a dozen people, including an injured Western woman, being evacuated in a military truck. Military vehicles carrying heavy machine guns were also heading to the scene, along with armed traditional hunters known as Dozo.

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