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Protest turns violent in Ivory Coast
afrol News, 17 February - Violence has erupted in Ivory Coast during a march of thousands Ivoirian opposition demonstrators protesting the recent dissolution of government. President Laurent Gbagbo dissolved the government last week.
Witnesses said a bunch of young men who identified themselves as opposition supporters forced bus riders off before it was torched. “Shortly afterwards, riot police used tear gas to disperse some 200 protesters marching nearby,” reports said.
President Gbagbo's decision follows a spat with the electoral commission over voter registration for national polls slated for early March.
The opposition has called for big street protests, raising the spectre of violence in the world's top cocoa grower.
In the main city of Abidjan, a protester has reportedly seized and set fire to a bus belonging to a national transport company.
"There was a vandal amongst the bus passengers who sprayed the bus with flammable liquid," said Thomas Koffi, the transport company manager.
"Ever since the president's decision to dissolve the government and CEI (electoral commission) by the government, we've been confronted by these acts of vandalism,” the official said.
President Gbagbo had accused the electoral commission head of illegally registering voters loyal to the opposition.
Frustration is growing at years of delays to a vote meant to restore peace to West Africa's former economic hub, after a 2002-3 war divided it between President Gbagbo's government and rebels who control the north.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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