Abidjan: Clashes involving heavy weapons
erupted in two districts of Ivory Coast's commercial capital
Abidjan loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo one day after
he was captured, witnesses on Tuesday.
The weapons were heard in the central Plateau district
and in the northern Cocody area as forces loyal to Gbabo's
rival, President Alassane Ouattara, struggled to return
security to the city after 10 days of fighting.
"There were clashes using heavy weapons," around
midday, said a resident of Plateau, largely deserted since
fighting erupted and home to the presidential palace.
"No way we're going outside for the time being," said
another resident, also speaking by telephone.
"This morning we saw a convoy of cars with lots of
4x4s: (Ouattara's military chief) Cherif Ousmane told us they
were going to flush out snipers posted on all tall buildings
in Plateau," said a young woman.
"Shortly after they went by, loud blasts began," said
the woman, who asked not to be named.
In Cocody, where Gbagbo was arrested at his official
residence yesterday, a resident said "there was sporadic small
arms fire in the morning, after which we heard rocket and
heavy machine-gun fire for several minutes."
Plateau and Cocody were the districts most completely
controlled by forces loyal to Gbagbo during the fighting that
culminated in Gbagbo's arrest by Ouattara's forces yesterday.
First Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 21:26