August 4, 2017 / 11:45 AM / in 2 years

Gunmen attack Ivory Coast police station, steal weapons

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - About 20 gunmen in military uniforms attacked a police station in southeastern Ivory Coast overnight, temporarily shutting officers inside and stealing weapons, the army said on Friday.

The raid in the town of Adzope, about 100 km (60 miles) north of the commercial capital Abidjan, follows months of military mutinies in Ivory Coast that have threatened to derail peace in Francophone West Africa’s biggest economy.

The attack occurred between 3:00 and 4:00 am (0300-0400 GMT) on Friday, the army said in a statement. The assailants also attacked a pharmacy and a gas station and shot guns in the air as the left.

There was no immediate information on injuries or deaths, the statement said.

“It’s another attack ... and it’s worrying,” said an army spokesman.

“The situation is under control at the moment and we are doing everything we can to end these attacks and above all identify who is behind them,” he said.

Ivory Coast is the world’s top cocoa producer and has been regularly cited as a model of post-conflict renewal since it emerged from a decade of turmoil and a 2011 civil war as one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

But successive waves of armed uprisings this year by members of the security forces demanding bonus payments have exposed underlying insecurity.

President Alassane Ouattara rejigged top security posts last month in what was seen as an attempt to put an end to the unrest, but that same day uniformed gunmen attacked the base of an elite security unit in Abidjan, stealing weapons and killing an officer.

Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Edward McAllister and Clelia Oziel

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