The commercial capital of Ivory Coast, Abidjan, has been hit by gunfire, a local resident and a soldier have confirmed to Reuters. The gunfire was heard at a military base known as “old Akouedo.”
Reuters quotes a soldier as saying, “Shooting has started in our camp too,” the particular camp is located in a residential section of the city. Abidjan has a population of nearly 5 million inhabitants.
Meanwhile, a day after ex soldiers took over three cities in Ivory Coast, fresh gunfire was heard early Saturday morning in the Ivorian town of Bouake, where the mutiny started on Friday.
The shooting is very heavy right now at the 3rd Battalion. I'm nearby and I hear it like it was right next to us.
It was not immediately clear what provoked the fresh gunfire, a member of the uprising said soldiers had seen what they considered suspicious movements outside the camp in Bouake and the action was to discourage the movements.
The movement could be the result of reinforcements the army sent to the town. The government confirmed that they were ready to listen to the grievances of the soldiers. Who according to a resident and a soldier were mutinying over salaries and bonuses.
“The shooting is very heavy right now at the 3rd Battalion. I’m nearby and I hear it like it was right next to us,” resident Konan Benoit told Reuters by telephone as gunfire could be heard on the line.
The renegade soldiers have controlled the city of around a half million residents since taking up positions at key entry points early on Friday.
Similar mutinies also occurred in two of the West African nation’s other main cities on Friday as the movement appeared to spread.