Abidjan (Ivory Coast): At least five soldiers were killed in three separate attacks targeting Ivory Coast's military, two in the commercial capital of Abidjan and one in the east, military officials said.
Defense ministry spokesman Allah Kouakou Leon said a number of armed men wearing military uniforms stormed two police stations in Yopougon district in Abidjan on the country's southeast coast. Three soldiers died in the first attack and two in the second early Sunday.
A third attack on a military camp in the eastern part of the country injured "many" soldiers, said Kakao Kouassi, Communications Chief for the Army's chief of staff. camp is located in the town of Abengourou, not far from the Ghana border.
Kouassi said that military officials believed the perpetrators of the last attack were loyalists supporting former President Laurent Gbagbo, and they had launched the attack from Ghana.
"We had information from our different intelligence offices that these attacks would take place," he said.
Kouassi declined to provide more details about the attack in the east. Kouakou said he suspected the attacks had been timed to coincide with Ivory Coast's Independence Day on Tuesday. These men wanted "to disrupt the upcoming anniversary," he said.
Both spokesmen said operations had been launched to search for those responsible, but no arrests had been made.
Ivory Coast officials announced in June that they had foiled a coup plot that originated in Ghana, accusing Gbagbo loyalists of attempting to foment destabilization. Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front political party has dismissed those charges as baseless.
Gbagbo's refusal to concede defeat to current President Alassane Ouattara after the November 2010 election spurred post-election violence that claimed some 3,000 lives. The former president is now facing crimes against humanity charges at The Hague.
First Published: Monday, August 06, 2012, 09:01