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6 dead in clashes as Ivory Coast leader seeks reelection

Four people had died in two days of clashes in the central town of Daoukro and the southern town of Bonoua on Wednesday and Thursday.

Ivorian anti-riot police arrive to disperse young demonstrators that burnt barricades in the road during a protest against the third term of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara in the Riviera Anono district of Abidjan on 13 August 2020, ahead of country's presidential election in October 2020. Picture: AFP

ABIDJAN - At least six people have now been killed in three days of clashes as protestors took to the streets following President Alassane Ouattara's decision to run for a third term this October, security sources said Friday.

Four people had died in two days of clashes in the central town of Daoukro and the southern town of Bonoua on Wednesday and Thursday.

Another death occurred in Daoukro late on Thursday, a security source told AFP.

Violence has now spread to the northern city of Gagnoa.

"We deplore one death in clashes last night and today between those for and against a third mandate" for Ouattara, the town's mayor Yssouf Diabate told AFP.

He said there were injured on both sides as well but that calm had returned to the streets.

Ouattara, 78, announced last week that he would contest the 31 October presidential elections, a move that came after his anointed successor Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly died of a heart attack.

The announcement sparked fury among Ouattara's critics, as he has already served two terms and can only contest a third by arguing that a constitutional change entitles him to reset the clock.

The vote is taking place in a country still scarred by a low-level civil war that erupted in 2011 when former strongman Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power to Ouattara after losing elections.

The ensuing unrest claimed some 3,000 lives and split the country along north-south lines.

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