20 armed men on Sunday attacked members of the Republican Force of Cote d’Ivoire says the Ivorian Defence Minister.
The Ivoirian Defence Minister, Paul Koffi, has said that the perpetrators of a recent attack on soldiers in the western part of the country entered through the Liberian border.
Mr. Koffi said in a statement in Abidjan on Tuesday that some 20 armed men on Sunday attacked members of the Republican Force of Cote d’Ivoire (FRCI) on duty in the western town of Grabo.
The minister who confirmed the killing of four soldiers in the attack, said calm had returned in the town.
He called on residents of the town to go about their normal activities as security had been beefed up to forestall further attacks.
“Unidentified gunmen came in from Liberia and attacked our security officials, four of the soldiers have been confirmed dead.
“We cannot categorically tell the nationals of the gunmen, but investigation is on to unmask those who carried out the attack,” he said.
Mr. Koffi said that the government of Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia are working together to ensure that those behind the attack were identified.
He said the attack was not in the interest of the government’s peace and reconciliation efforts.
Local newspapers reported that the attack was allegedly carried out by Ivoirians taking refuge in Liberia as a result of the post-election crisis that rocked Cote d’Ivoire.
The UN Refugee Agency estimated that no fewer than 100,000 Ivoirians fled the country for refuge in Liberia at the peak of the political crisis.
The Côte d’Ivoire-Liberia border has remained unstable since the end of the crisis due to ethnic tensions and land disputes.
Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa beans producer, was hit by post-election violence that caused the death of some 3,000 persons.