The Higher Council of Imams (Cosima) for Ivory Coast on Saturday called for calm after grenade attacks against two mosques were perpetrated by "men in uniform", which left one person dead and several wounded in post-election violence. Friday, "uniformed men threw a grenade into the mosque of Grand-Bassam (some forty miles south of Abidjan) when people were waiting for the Imam to pray. There was one death and injuries" said Imam Sekou Sylla, spokesman for Cosima. "The same thing happened" in the town of Abobo in Abidjan, "where the grenade had pierced a wall and caused injuries too. Finally, in Williamsville (north of Abidjan), we could not do prayer since the mosque was surrounded by uniformed men," he added. He said he did not have the complete assessment of injuries or element identifying the perpetrators of these attacks. In a post-election climate marked Thursday by deadly violence, Cosima in a statement called upon "the national community, particularly the Muslim community, to remain calm." "We are in contact with Catholic leaders to prevent the situation from escalating" by sectarian violence, said Imam Sylla, who claims that Cosimarepresents "90% of imams" in the country. According to residents of Grand-Bassam, after the attack on the mosque, angry youths burned the police commissioner's car as well as a vehicle owned by public television RTI. The violence started on account of a disputed presidential election outcome between opposition leader Alassane Ouattara and incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, after provisional results from a November presidential runoff intended to end more than 10 years of civil war showed Ouattara as the winner with a nearly eight point margin. Earlier this month, the nation's highest court, headed by an ally of Gbagbo, canceled thousands of votes from the north-Ouattara's stronghold and declared Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent of the vote. Both candidates have said they won and set up parallel governments in the nation's main city, Abidjan, where violence between their supporters has killed dozens since results were announced. Ouattara has unanimous international support. He urged his supporters to forcefully "liberate" the country's national television station and parliament building, sparking a standoff with soldiers loyal to Gbagbo. The U.N. security council and other world bodies called for Gbagbo to step down, with many world leaders saying Ouattara won. Political intimidation has forced nearly 4,000 Ivorians to flee to neighboring Liberia and Guinea, according to the U.N. High Commission for Refugees.
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