World Briefs: Ex-Ivorian leader on trial for war crimes

Ex-Ivorian leader on trial for war crimes

THE HAGUE • War crimes prosecutors yesterday accused ex-Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, 70, of orchestrating "unspeakable violence" in 2011, including murder and gang rape by supporters, in order to cling to power after losing an election.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges on the opening day of his trial at the International Criminal Court.

His co-accused, youth leader Charles Ble Goude, 44, also pleaded innocent.

Around 3,000 people were killed in the conflict in the Ivory Coast. The fighting ended only when former colonial power France intervened to put an end to four months of violence, allowing election winner Alessane Ouattara to take office.

REUTERS


7 killed in Hamas tunnel collapse

GAZA CITY (Palestinian Territories) • Seven members of Hamas' armed wing were killed when a tunnel built for fighting against Israel collapsed this week in the Gaza Strip, the Islamist movement said yesterday.

The Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades said four militants managed to escape after the collapse late on Tuesday in the north-east of the Palestinian enclave.

In July and August 2014, Israel fought a 50-day war against Hamas, with the militants making widespread use of deep tunnels to launch surprise attacks on Israeli forces. Israel bombed the tunnels heavily, but not all were destroyed.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 29, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs: Ex-Ivorian leader on trial for war crimes'. Print Edition | Subscribe