Mohamed Dosso said the women were taking part in a female—only march on Thursday to call for sitting president Laurent Gbagbo to step down when they were cut down by machine gun fire.

An official says security forces allied with the man clinging to power in Ivory Coast have shot and killed six female protesters.

Mohamed Dosso said the women were taking part in a female—only march on Thursday to call for sitting president Laurent Gbagbo to step down when they were cut down by machine gun fire.

Close to 400 people have been killed since the disputed November 28 election, almost all of them men and almost all of them supporters of internationally recognized winner Alassane Ouattara.

The U.N. said on Thursday that at least 26 people have been killed in the suburb of Abobo in the last 24 hours alone. The U.N. says that more than 200,000 people have fled the heavy street fighting.

More In: International | News