Ivory Coast: Mob attacks gay rights office

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Ivory Coast. - MAP: Columbia.edu

The head of Ivory Coast's most prominent gay rights organization says its headquarters were "ransacked" by a mob that destroyed property, stole equipment and injured a security guard.

Claver Toure said nearly 200 people took part in attacking his organization, Alternative Cote d'Ivoire, in Abidjan on Saturday afternoon.

It followed days of threats against the group, including signs placed outside the building bearing anti-gay slurs equating gay men with pedophiles.

Toure criticized what he described as a deliberately slow response by security forces. An Interior Ministry spokesman said he had no knowledge of the attack.

Ivory Coast is not one of 38 African countries that explicitly outlaw homosexual acts, but sexual minorities report periodic harassment from security forces and the general population.