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Ivory Coast mourns 61 killed at New Year
stampede in Abidjan
Wednesday, Dec 02, 2012
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Three days of mourning have been declared in Ivory Coast
following a New Year's Eve stampede that killed at least 61 people
Hundreds of people leaving a fireworks event at a stadium in the
Plateau district were jammed into a tiny street in the early hours of
Tuesday: many were crushed; others suffocated.
An investigation is under way. Many victims were said to be 15 or
President Alassane Ouattara described the deaths as a national
Different theories are emerging as to what caused the stampede
after the fireworks display ended in the 65,000-capacity Felix
Houphouet Boigny Stadium.
Some say a group of youths brandishing knives was snatching
people's mobile phones, provoking panic among the large crowd,
says the BBC's West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy.
But others say security forces acted ineptly as they tried to control
the many thousands walking through the city centre - triggering the
stampede which has left many more people injured, some critically.
Mr Ouattara visited some of the wounded who were taken to two
hospitals in the country's main city and promised that the costs of
their medical treatment would be covered by the government.