The UN accuses Ouattara's forces of extrajudicial killings [EPA] 

Ivory Coast authorities have arrested 57 soldiers from former president Laurent Gbagbo's government, charging them with crimes ranging from murder and kidnapping to buying illegal arms, the military prosecutor has said.

"Fifty-seven soldiers have been arrested and will be charged with attacking state security, buying arms in violation of the embargo, kidnapping and murder," Ange Kessy Kouame said on Thursday.

President Alassane Ouattara's government has been arresting several members of the former government, who are suspected of mounting a campaign of violence against civilians seen as pro-Ouattara during and after a November's presidential election.

At least 24 members of Gbagbo's government, including some ministers, have already been arrested or charged.

After rejecting UN certified results showing he had lost the election, Gbagbo unleashed security forces and allied armed groups on parts of the population suspected of supporting Ouattara.

Hundreds were killed, raped or tortured while hundreds of others disappeared without trace, according to activists and rights groups.

Violence between the two sides culminated in the ousting Gbagbo in April. An estimated 3,000 people were killed and a million displaced during the unrest.

Critics complain that none of Ouattara's men have been detained, despite evidence that they have also committed abuses.

The UN mission in Ivory Coast has accused Ouattara's forces of carrying out 26 extrajudicial killings in the past month.

Spokesman Guillaume Ngefa said on Thursday that the killings happened in areas loyal to Gbagbo. A 17-month-old child was among those killed, he said.

Source: Agencies