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Just one night before the New Year's incident, there had been a big concert at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium where American rap star Chris Brown performed. That Sunday night event was for the Kora Awards for African musicians. No serious incidents were reported from that event.
The government organized the fireworks to celebrate Ivory Coast's peace, after several months of political violence in early 2011 following disputed elections.
This is not Ivory Coast's first stadium tragedy. In 2009, 22 people died and over 130 were injured in a stampede at a World Cup qualifying match at the Houphouet Boigny Stadium, prompting FIFA, soccer's global governing body, to impose a fine of tens of thousands of dollars on Ivory Coast's soccer federation. The stadium, which officially holds 35,000, was overcrowded at the time of the disaster.
Another African stadium tragedy occurred on New Year's Eve in Angola where at least 10 people, including four children, died in a stampede during a religious gathering at a sports stadium in Luanda, the capital.
Angop, the Angolan news agency, cited officials as saying Tuesday that 120 people were also injured when tens of thousands of people gathered at the stadium and panic ensued.