Rocket Blast Kills 3 in Ivory Coast Election Run-up

Posted December 8th, 2011 at 6:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Ivory Coast officials say a rocket was fired into a residential courtyard in the Grand Lahou region just before an election rally was scheduled to be held, killing three people and wounding three more.

The officials said supporters of Ivory Coast's Democratic Party, which backs President Alassane Ouattara, were preparing for the rally Wednesday when the rocket struck.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for Sunday. Although the country has stabilized since a violent conflict following last year's presidential poll, security concerns remain ahead of the vote.

Some 3,000 people were killed when the former president Laurent Gbagbo lost the election but refused to cede power. The conflict was finally resolved when Mr. Gbagbo was captured in April by pro-Ouattara forces, but human rights groups have said there is evidence that fighters on both sides committed atrocities during the conflict.

Mr. Gbagbo's party says it will boycott the upcoming parliamentary polls, and Mr. Gbagbo is facing charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.