Ivory Coast: Fears of a Ccivil War Intensify as presented by: Boston Big Picture

The three-month long conflict in Ivory Coast has entered a particularly bloody stage. Nearly 400 people have been killed in the west African country, including 32 on March 3 alone, almost all of them men who had voted for opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, according to UN figures. International groups and most nations recognized Ouattara as the legitimate leader of the country after elections late last year. But Laurent Gbagbo refuses to turn over the government and loyal forces have brutally attacked Ouattara supporters. Hundreds of civilians have fled their homes trying to avoid the clashes between the two sides. International observers fear the nation is on the verge of a civil war. Residents burn tires and block the street where security forces loyal to Ivory Coast's strongman, Laurent Gbagbo, opened fire on demonstrators, killing at least seven women, on March 3 in Abobo, a working class neighborhood of Abidjan. The women were among hundreds gathered to call for the ouster of Gbagbo. A woman fleeing ongoing violence in the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan covers her nose and mouth with her scarf as she walks out of the district past heaps of rotting trash on Feb. 27. Since the start of the political crisis three months ago, trash has been piling up around the city. A woman bathes her child after finding shelter at St. Ambrose Church in the Angree neighborhood of Abidjan on March 1.

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