ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — A video obtained by The Associated Press on Friday shows how women were gunned down by soldiers backing Ivory Coast’s strongman in an incident that has exposed the extent of army abuse and prompted a shockwave of criticism.
The grainy footage was shot by a cameraman working for an opposition television station whose producer gave the AP permission to disseminate the footage. It captures the minutes before the attack Thursday in the troubled Abobo neighborhood where thousands of women took part in an all-women march demanding the departure of Laurent Gbagbo. At least six women were killed.
In the video, which was also posted on YouTube, a set of successive booms is heard as women wave branches in the air in protest. The crowd of hundreds scatters as screaming is heard. Then the cameraman pans over the collapsed bodies of at least four women. The head of one of them has been torn off and people rush to cover it was a piece of cloth. Another who is still alive tries to lift herself up and collapses in her own blood.
It was not immediately possible to show the video to witnesses to check its authenticity, but the images match the accounts of multiple people who were present during the incident.