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Ivory Coast: 1 dead, several injured during violent demonstration

Ivory Coast

One person died and a dozen others were injured by gunfire during a violent demonstration on Friday against rising electricity prices in Bouake in central Ivory Coast.

A 29-year-old man was shot in the stomach during clashes with security forces, AFP reports after its journalist saw the body in the morgue.

“At least a dozen wounded people were evacuated to the CHU (University Hospital Centre). There is an man who succumbed to his injuries in the emergency. They were bullet wounds,” a hospital source confirmed.

The demonstrators looted and vandalized several offices of the Ivorian Electricity Company (CIE), a bank and many government buildings: prefecture, residence of the mayor, government agencies.

These events occured after similar demonstrations that degenerated into violence and looting on Tuesday in Yamoussoukro, the administrative capital, and on Wednesday in Daloa, in the west.

After the demonstrations, a postponement of the payment of bills to September was announced, yet could not calm the protesters in Bouake.

The electricity tariffs were expected to rise early in the year to between 6 and 10%, according to the Ministry of Energy; but many consumers have received higher bills.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara had publicly asked ICE to review its tariffs to fight against high prices. However, the bills in the following months had a significant increase in prices.

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