Bouake, Ivory Coast
The U.S. sent troops to evacuate 100 children of American missionaries trapped inside a school during a bloody coup attempt this week. “It really was crossfire, not shooting at the children but a whole lot of ammo going, scaring the kids to death,” said James Forlines, director of Free Will Baptist Foreign Missions. At least 270 people have been killed in the uprising by 800 ex-soldiers angry at having been ousted from the army for suspected disloyalty. The rebels were followers of the country’s former leader, Gen. Robert Guei, who took power in a 1999 coup and was voted out of office the next year. Guei was assassinated hours into the uprising last week. The rebels have found support among Muslims in the northern part of the country, who say they are oppressed by the Christian south. Though government loyalists prevented an outright coup, some now fear Ivory Coast’s Muslim neighbor, Burkina Faso, could be drawn into the fighting.
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