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Ouattara troops prepare for final assault

04-02-2011 14:12 BJT

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Turmoil continues to grip Abidjan, the capital of Cote d'Ivoire. Troops loyal to the internationally-recognized leader Alassane Ouattara are poised for a final push to unseat entrenched incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo.

Cote d'Ivoire has been locked in a power struggle since November's controversial presidential election. And worse is yet to come.

Fighting raged the presidential palace on Friday, as armed forces loyal to elected president Alassane Ouattara tried to install him to power and oust incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.

Gunfire could be heard in Abidjan, where signs of violence rise sky-high. Hundreds of troops are preparing for what their commander tells them will be the final assault.

"Are we taking Abidjan or not today?"

"we will take it!!"

Military officials have appeared on national television to pledge loyalty to Ouattara and call for peace.

General Detoh Leto, Head of Groud Forces said "As of now on I place the forces at the orders of the democratically elected president Dr Alassane Ouattara and the Prime Minister and Defense Minister Soro Kigbafori Guillaume. Together let us answer to our republican duties."

Colonel Patrice Koussi, Oattara Forces Spokesman said "Too much blood has been shed in our country for nothing. It is time we take responsibility in front of history. It is time, high time, that we stop this pointless massacre. Let us offer peace to our people and stop fighting our brothers in arms"

But even in the face of a rapid military advance that has swept across the country, Laurent Gbagbo has rejected calls to step down.

He's not been seen in public since the offensive began, but those in his inner circle say he is still in Abidjan and will fight until the end.

It's unclear where he is holed up, but Ouattara's camp speculates he's in a bunker in the palace.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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