UN peacekeepers and Ivorian civilians killed in ambush at the border with Liberia
The United Nations in Ivory Coast has reported that seven of its peacekeepers and eight civilians were killed on Friday by gunmen in an ambush near the border with Liberia. UN peacekeepers were deployed in Ivory Coast in 2004 to help end the civil war and have stayed until now. Last year, in collaboration with France, they played a key role in the change of government, leading to the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo who had lost the presidential election in November 2010 but had refused to handover power. In the past weeks there have been reports of cross-border attacks, blamed on Liberian mercenaries and Ivorian militia fighters who fled Ivory Coast last year after the fall of Laurent Gbagbo. A United Nations official in Abidjan said the peacekeepers were killed while patrolling the border area. The Ivorian government said on Saturday that some of its soldiers were also killed.