Cote d'Ivoire: Three days of national mourning declared in Cote d'Ivoire

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - The Ivorian government has declared three days of national mourning following Sunday's deadly attack on three hotels in the town of Grand-Bassam, some 40 km east of the main city of Abidjan, according to media reports on Monday.

The decision was taken after a national security council meeting on Monday as the death toll was revised to 15 civilians and three soldiers. Three terrorists were also said to have been killed.

The government also said security would be beefed up at several places including schools, diplomatic missions and the borders.

The initial death toll released by officials after Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara visited Grand-Bassam on Sunday was 14 civilians, two soldiers and 6 terrorists.

The terrorist attack on the beach resort of Grand-Bassam follows similar attacks on hotels in two other West African cities - Bamako, the Malian capital last November, and Ouagadougou, the Burkina Faso capital, last January.

The Ivorian attack has been roundly condemned across the world with the United States of America, France, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, UN World Tourism Organisation, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Nigeria leading the chorus.

The US and France pledged assistance to find the terrorists.

"We send our thoughts and prayers to all affected by this senseless violence," John Kirby, Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson, Bureau of Public Affairs, said in a statement on Sunday.

"Cote d’Ivoire is an important regional partner to the United States, and in the days ahead we stand ready to support the Ivorian government as it investigates this heinous attack," it added.

France on its part has condemned the attack and offered to help the Ivorian government find the perpetrators.

French President Francois Hollande condemned the "cowardly attack" on its former colony in West Africa.

Ban's spokesman in a statement said: “The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attacks carried out (on Sunday) in three hotels in the town of Grand Bassam, Côte d'Ivoire. He expresses his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the people and Government of Côte d'Ivoire and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.”

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

PANA reports that Ivorian President Ouattara has said these "cowardly terrorist attacks" would not be tolerated in his country.

He lauded the rapid response of the defence forces and Ivorian security which "neutralised" the six terrorists after a fierce fight that lasted between three and four hours.
-0- PANA MA 14March2016

14 march 2016 20:11:55

xhtml CSS