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  Thursday, September 19, 2019
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French soldiers fired to disperse protesters in Ivory Coast on Tuesday after days of rioting in the main city Abidjan
Three people lay dead after the shooting. One was an Ivorian paramilitary policeman, one man had his head blown off and a woman lay lifeless on the ground with a large wound in her back. Demonstrators said the gunfire had come from French troops in a hotel while the French military declined immediate comment. The continuing unrest on the ground underscored doubts about the prospects for stability despite an upbeat assessment from South African President Thabo Mbeki on a one-day peace mission to the world's biggest cocoa grower. Demonstrators in Abidjan ransacked the Hotel Ivoire after French troops pulled out and smoke rose into the sky. The hotel was a towering symbol of the post-independence boom the West African state enjoyed thanks largely to its plentiful cocoa. The unrest, which has paralyzed the vital cocoa industry, began after former colonial power France destroyed most of the country's military aircraft in response to an air raid which killed nine French peacekeepers. French troops deployed in Abidjan, saying their only aim was to protect French citizens and property, but Ivorian militants accused them of planning to topple President Laurent Gbagbo, informs Reuters. According to ABC News, gunfire killed at least 10 and wounded hundreds in a clash involving French troops, protesters and local security forces in Ivory Coast on Tuesday, the fourth straight day of chaotic violence in the West African country. Shooting broke out as French soldiers tried to leave a hotel in the main city Abidjan. France said Ivorian forces trying to help them leave opened fire after being shot at by protesters. But the demonstrators said the French had fired on the crowd. Four bodies lay near the towering Hotel Ivoire building after the shooting ? an Ivorian paramilitary policeman, a headless corpse and two women. Protesters carried a fifth corpse to the residence of President Laurent Gbagbo. A doctor at an Abidjan hospital said he had counted about 10 dead and more than 300 wounded from the clash
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