At least 40 people have been killed in western Ivory Coast since July 2011 in cross-border attacks by Liberia-based armed groups loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo, Human Rights Watch said.
There were at least four attacks targeting civilians from ethnic groups said to support Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, the New-York based non-governmental organization said in an e-mailed report today.
The armed groups, which mainly comprise Ivorians and Liberians who fought for Gbagbo during last year’s post-election crisis in the West African country, recruited child soldiers as young as 14, the human rights group said. The assailants told Human Rights Watch they are preparing more attacks.
At least 3,000 people were killed last year in Ivory Coast during a five-month crisis caused by Gbagbo’s refusal to hand over power after he lost a November 2010 vote.
Thousands of mercenaries from Liberia fought with militias and forces loyal to Gbagbo. Many of them fled to neighboring Liberia after he was arrested in April last year, Human Rights Watch said.
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