Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fresh gun battles erupt in Ivory Coast's main city

The Ivory Coast? Just another African State that is in turmoil.

(Reuters) - Gunfire and explosions shook Ivory Coast's main city Wednesday as forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo pushed back into an area where gunmen backing his presidential rival repelled them a day before.

"There's firing everywhere. I'm hearing heavy weapons booming all over the place," said one resident of the Abidjan suburb of Abobo, where up to 15 Gbagbo loyalists were killed in an ambush Tuesday.

The clashes between Gbagbo's forces and backers of Alassane Ouattara, following a disputed election in November, threaten to reignite a conflict in the world's biggest cocoa producer and dash hopes of reuniting a country split by a 2002-3 war.

Residents said the fighting stopped after four hours of intense clashes. Pro-Gbagbo forces reported three men killed while there was no immediate comment from Ouattara supporters.

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