Rival forces battle for control of Abidjan

800 killed in violence so far

Rival forces battle for control of Abidjan

Smoke rises from the centre of Abidjan.AP photo

BBC Online

Heavy fighting is taking place in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan, for a third day as rival forces battle for power.

Fighters loyal to internationally-recognised president Alassane Ouattara battled for control of the presidential palace and barracks still loyal to incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.

Gbagbo’s whereabouts are unknown.

In the country’s west, at least 800 people are reported to have been killed earlier this week in Duekoue as a result of inter-communal violence.

The battle for Abidjan remains fierce, with heavy fighting reported on Saturday around the Agban military base in the centre of the city.

But the situation inside the city is unclear, with some reports that soldiers defending the base were fighting amongst themselves.

State television station RTI, appears to be back under the control of Gbagbo supporters after being briefly seized by their rivals.One soldier, accompanied by a dozen members of Gbagbo’s Defence and Security Forces (FDS), read a statement on the channel calling for the mobilisation of troops to protect state institutions.

“The FDS, wishing to reaffirm their determination, to ensure their sovereign duty to protect people, property and institutions of the Republic of Ivory Coast” calls for “all the staff of the armed forces” to join five units located in Abidjan. [Read More]

Source: The New Nation - Independent Daily


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