ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Witnesses say mutinous soldiers in Ivory Coast have taken control of several cities as they demand higher pay.

Tensions began Friday when gunfire rang out in the second-largest city of Bouake and soldiers demonstrated in Abidjan’s Plateau district before being dislodged by active army.

Residents of Bouake and northern Korhogo on Saturday said the entrances to their cities had been blocked.

Adama Soro, a resident of Daloa city, says mutinous soldiers took over there with heavy weapons after police fled.

Some of the soldiers involved were behind a mutiny in January. They have been seeking better living conditions.

The mutinous soldiers are former rebels who helped put President Alassane Ouattara in power after his predecessor refused to cede office after losing the 2010 election.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.