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Massacre Uncovered In Western Ivory Coast

GUY RAZ, Host:

And, John, first, can you update us on the situation in Abidjan?

JOHN JAMES: Everyone I'm speaking today is really locked down in their homes and (unintelligible) dying from mortars, from heavy cannon fire. You know, people are trapped in their homes. Some areas have lost electricity, some areas have lost water. Most people are running out of food, and at the same time, you got this battle raging and people aren't sure where this is heading.

RAZ: Is it clear whether the opposition loyal to Alassane Ouattara is gaining ground?

JAMES: Laurent Gbagbo can't count on too much anymore from the official forces. He has youth movements and supporters that have been harmed as well. But, yeah, outside of those two forces, you can just very much see (unintelligible) backed into a corner here and, you know, it's difficult for him now coming back from the (unintelligible) president.

RAZ: John James, can you tell me what you have learned about that other story we're following in Ivory Coast, the alleged massacre that the Red Cross uncovered in the town of Duekoue?

JAMES: And clearly, it shows some (unintelligible), the tension that's being sparked by the lack of the army, the police and this general disorder.

RAZ: But it appears, even though it's not confirmed that some of those killings were probably carried out by supporters of the opposition leader Alassane Ouattara.

JAMES: That may well be the case. But otherwise, the Red Cross weren't posing anything as to who was responsible at this stage. But certainly, I think, both sides probably have some blood on their hands, and it's all because of this political crisis at the very top.

RAZ: John, thank you.

JAMES: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.