Mass graves found in Cote d'Ivoire: UN spokesman

11:03, May 10, 2011      

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Human rights investigators working with the UN peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) say that 68 bodies were found in 10 graves near the West African country's main city of Abidjan, UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters on Monday.

According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the discovery made in the Youpogon neighborhood includes two mass graves -- one with 31 bodies and the other with 21.

The human rights team is conducting interviews with witnesses and families of victims who may be able to provide insight into the killings, said the UN spokesman.

Cote d'Ivoire is undergoing a political transition following months of violent clashes that ended with the April 11 arrest of former strongman Laurent Gbagbo by forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the UN-certified president-elect.

"(OHCHR) believes that killings took place on April 12 by pro- Gbagbo militia and that those killed are all males," said Haq.

The team is continuing its investigation into allegations of other graves nearby, added the spokesman.

Source: Xinhua
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