UNITED NATIONS — Seven U.N. peacekeepers were killed in an ambush Friday in a remote area of southwestern Ivory Coast while trying to protect civilians threatened by attack, the United Nations said.
Bert Koenders, the U.N. envoy to the west African nation, said the peacekeepers were part of a patrol south of Tai in an area which the U.N. mission recently reinforced because of threats of attacks against the civilian population.
He condemned the attack "in the strongest terms" and said the seven peacekeepers who died were from Niger.
Kieran Dwyer, the spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping department, said "we are moving in reinforcements as soon as we have daylight."
A U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said the peacekeeping patrol was attacked by a large number of people. The official estimated that perhaps 40 peacekeepers had been in the area and were dug in overnight to protect the village against a new attack.
Koenders said in the statement that the U.N. mission "will take all necessary measures following this grave violation of international law."
The United Nations has had a peacekeeping mission in Ivory Coast since 2004.
At the end of April, the U.N. said there were about 9,400 peacekeeping troops, 200 military observers and 1,350 international police in the mission along with civilian staff. Over 40 countries are contributing military personnel.
- Taiwan plane crash survivor crawls out of...
- What happened on the ground the day Flight 17...
- After government topples crosses in China,...
- Federal land managers criticized over...
- Feds cap fines for not buying health...
- Associated Press analysis: Colorado gun law...
- A kiss, a prayer: The last hours of MH17's...
- Cellphone unlocking set to become legal again
- Propaganda war continues in Hobby Lobby... 52
- Appeals courts issue contradictory... 49
- Herbert among 6 governors raising... 46
- Gov. Rick Perry sending National Guard... 25
- Hamas calls for end to blockade of Gaza... 25
- Obama fundraises for Dems; demands GOP... 20
- Feds cap fines for not buying health... 18
- Despite crush of children, illegal... 16