Violence in western Ivory Coast: 11 people killed

Unidentified attackers wielding hunting rifles and machetes killed 11 people and kidnapped four in a government-held region of war-divided Ivory Coast, a hospital official said Tuesday.

Paul Gouagouehe of the main hospital in the town of Guiglo said the attack occurred Monday morning at the nearby farming village of Zouan. Gouagouehe said 10 people died from their gun and cutlass wounds during the attack and an 11th died later at the Guiglo hospital. Three young men and one woman were kidnapped, he said.

Government officials were not immediately available for comment. Residents and visiting laborers working on the region's rich cocoa farms have clashed in recent years, leaving many dead. Ivory Coast is the world's largest cocoa producer.

U.N. peacekeepers who provided security in the government-held region after a 2002-2003 civil war left the Guiglo area last month after a deadly gunfight with Ivorians trying to overrun their base during protests against the United Nations, reports the AP.

I.L.