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Ouattara troops storm Gbagbo compound

04-07-2011 08:34 BJT

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In Cote d'Ivoire forces backing the internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara continue trying to push out his rival Laurent Gbagbo. On Wednesday, they stormed Gbagbo's residence in Abidjan, the largest city in the West African country.

Fighting raged for a third consecutive day in the economic capital Abidjan as Ouattara's forces tried to unseat Gbagbo, who has refused to cede power.

Ouattara's forces earlier had tried to storm Gbagbo's residence.

A spokesperson for the pro-Ouattara forces said their fighters pierced the perimeter of his last hideout.

They reached as far as the gates but met with heavy fire, as Gbagbo's militiamen put up a stiff resistance.

The fighters retreated, and were regrouping for a second assault.

The French military confirmed that fighting was underway around Gbagbo's residence, but said that French troops in the city are not involved in the fighting.

Later in the day, sustained machine gun fire rang out for about 30 minutes in Abidjan's central business district near the presidential palace, the site of some of the heaviest fighting in recent days.

Wednesday's fighting came one day after negotiations to secure Gbagbo's departure failed.

Gbagbo has been holed up in the bunker since Ouattara's forces swept into Abidjan backed by helicopter strikes of the United Nations and France.

The UN said negotiations for his exit were continuing but it was not clear if they would lead anywhere, especially as Gbagbo told French radio earlier he had no intention of stepping down.

 

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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