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Fighting abates in Ivory Coast economic capital

Last Updated: Sunday, April 3, 2011 - 19:03

Abidjan: The streets of Ivory Coast`s
economic capital Abidjan were deserted on Sunday while fighting
abated near bastions of strongman Laurent Gbagbo after a
four-day assault by rival forces, residents and a
journalists said.

Terrified Abidjan residents have been in lockdown
since the army of internationally recognised president
Alassane Ouattara arrived Thursday after a lightning offensive
across the country, seeking to unseat Gbagbo.

In the administrative district Plateau, scene of heavy
combat around the presidential palace, only sporadic
machinegun fire was heard early today after deafening
explosions of heavy weapons on Friday afternoon.

In the northern suburb of Cocody, fighting has been
taking place within a wide radius including Gbagbo`s private
residence and state television RTI.

"There was shooting here and there during the night,
but there wasn`t any real fighting," one resident said.

The Ivorian strongman has brushed aside calls by world
leaders to step down, and his forces have managed to repulse
the rival army while Abidjan has been beset by violence and


First Published: Sunday, April 3, 2011 - 19:03
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