MUSLIM HATE IN IVORY COAST
Ivory Coast attack likely targeted senior Obama administration official
March 13, 2016
A deadly attack on a popular Ivory Coast beach resort Sunday that
killed at least 16 most likely targeted a U.S. delegation led by the
assistant commerce secretary, who was visiting the country, a
diplomatic source in the region told Fox News.
There was no indication any Americans had been killed or wounded in the attack, according to the source.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce Marcus Jadotte was leading a group of
Americans in Grand-Bassam, including college recruiters from the
University of Florida. U.S. embassy officials from the capital city of
Abidjan were also included in the group, according to the source.
The delegation was supposed to arrive at the scene of the attack,
Etoile du Sud, a hotel popular with Westerners. The delegation had not
yet made it to the hotel when the attack occurred.
A jihadist group called Ansar Dine, or "defenders of the faith," linked
to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was suspected of the attack,
according to the source.Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb later claimed
responsibility for the attack, according to a Jihad monitoring website
cited by the Associated Press.
The US Embassy in Ivory Coast instructed all Americans to "shelter in place."
The U.S. ambassador to the Ivory Coast was not in the country at the
time of the attack having left to attend a conference in Washington led
by Secretary of State John Kerry.
But the deadly attack did leave 14 civilians and two special forces
soldiers dead, as well as all six attackers, President Alassane
Ouattara said, according to Reuters.
The attackers, who were "heavily armed and wearing balaclavas, fired at
guests at the Etoile du Sud, a large hotel which was full of expats in
the current heatwave," a witness told AFP.
Marcel Guy said he saw at least four gunmen with Kalashnikov rifles on
the beach. He said one approached two children, and spoke in Arabic.
One child knelt and prayed, the other child was shot dead.
"I was swimming when it started and I ran away," said Dramane Kima, who
showed video of the carnage to Reuters. He also took pictures of
grenades and ammunition clips he believed were left behind by the
Jacques Able, who identified himself as the owner of Etoile du Sud said one person had been killed at the hotel.
A receptionist at Etoile du Sud hotel said the attacks happened on the beach.
"We don't know where they came from, and we don't know where they've gone," he said of the gunmen.
Security forces and members of the Ivorian Red Cross were clearing the bodies.
Josiane Sekongo, who lives across from one of the town's many
beachfront hotels, said she ran outside when she heard the gunfire and
saw people running away from the beach. Sekongo, 25, said residents
were hiding in their homes as security forces responded.
At least one French person died in the attack, a French Foreign Ministry spokesperson told Reuters.
French President Francois Hollande denounced the "cowardly attack."
"France will bring its logistical support and intelligence to Ivory
Coast to find the attackers," Hollande said in a statement viewed by
Reuters. "[France] will pursue and intensify its cooperation with its
partners in the fight against terrorism."
Attacks by Islamists on hotels frequented by foreigners in two other
West African countries, Mali in November and Burkina Faso in January,
killed dozens of people and indicated that extremist attacks are
spreading from North Africa.
Missionaries Flee Violence in Ivory
Muslim rebel attacks force school closures.
David Miller, Compass Direct
Dozens of missionaries
fled Cote d'Ivoire (the
former Ivory Coast)
in October, highlighting a crisis that may change the church's status in the
West African nation.
Hundreds of disgruntled soldiers launched a military
uprising in three major cities on September 19, seeking to overthrow President
Laurent Gbagbo. Fighting quickly spread to half the country of 15 million, with
battle lines drawn roughly between the predominantly Muslim population in the
north and the Christian and animist south.
"If the rebel forces should gain control of the
government, then it's likely that Islam could become more favored and
Christianity open to greater opposition," said Larry Sellers, a Church of
God missionary who evacuated from
Yamoussoukro on October 24. "But I don't see that immediately in the
The most violent attacks have occurred in centrally located Bouake, Cote
d'Ivoire's second most populous city.
Fighting has killed hundreds and driven out a third of Bouake's 600,000 residents.
Some 160 students from the
a school for missionary children in Bouake,
were evacuated in September and the school closed. Another missionary school in
Yamoussoukro also shut down.
In mid-October, the U.S. Embassy began encouraging
expatriates to leave. Subsequently, the Summer Institute of Linguistics, the
Christian and Missionary Alliance, New Tribes Mission, and the Freewill
evacuated missionaries. Other agencies pared their staffs. Many missionary
families went to neighboring African countries, but some returned to the United States or Europe.
The warring sides are observing a temporary cease-fire and
conducting negotiations in Togo.
But the Associated Press reported that Muslim soldiers had begun to mistreat
the Christian population in areas under rebel control.
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