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Demonstrations spread across Ivory Coast

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Demonstrations spread across Ivory Coast

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Violent unrest in Ivory Coast appears to be spreading. Thousands of protesters have marched through the central city of Bouake, some setting fire to cars and smashing up shops. Many are angry at years of delays in holding elections.

‘‘We are tired of this. We have no electricity. There are water and food shortages and no work. We are all waiting. We have nowhere to work. The companies are shut,’‘ one protester said.

The violence in Bouake follows similar demonstrations that have swept the world’s top cocoa producer. The southern city of Gagnoa has seen some of the worst clashes. On Friday, five people were killed when security forces fired live rounds.

The almost daily demonstrations erupted after President Laurent Gbagbo dissolved the government and electoral commission a week ago, following a spat over voter registration.

Opponents accuse him of deliberately stalling a presidential ballot, which has been delayed since 2005.