Over a 100 troops, with armoured vehicles and attack helicopters, have been sent to Ivory Coast's city of Bouake to reinforce security after the base of an elite militia was looted of weapons and burned down by soldiers from a rival faction, Reuters reported late on Wednesday.
The news agency said the elite militia, known as the CCDO, was on the hunt for the soldiers involved in Tuesday’s rampage who accused it of spying on them. The CCDO is a rapid-reaction unit composed of army soldiers, paramilitary gendarmes and police officers.
The rampaging soldiers were also involved in a series of mutinies last year over wage disputes with the government.
Gunshots and heavy weapons fire erupted between the rival factions late on Tuesday, though residents said the situation was calm on Wednesday after some early sporadic gunfire, and businesses were operating normally.
“We entered the CCDO camp around midnight and took all of their arms and ammunitions,” said one faction leader who asked not to be named. “Their troops fled the camp but we are looking for them.”
A government spokesman said that there were no deaths in the clash and that an investigation into the attack was being carried out.
Footage of the CCDO base broadcast on state television showed burned vehicles and offices gutted by fire.
Last year’s mutinies in Bouake spread across the country, the world’s top cocoa grower, culminating in the government ceding to demands for bonuses and promotions.
- African News Agency (ANA)