French businessmen beaten, shot in Ivory Coast

13th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

ABIDJAN, Feb 12 (AFP) - A French businessman was beaten up and shot in the stomach after being abducted in Ivory Coast amid continued anti-French feeling among government supporters in the West African country, he told AFP Saturday.

ABIDJAN, Feb 12 (AFP) - A French businessman was beaten up and shot in the stomach after being abducted in Ivory Coast amid continued anti-French feeling among government supporters in the West African country, he told AFP Saturday.

Daniel Brechat, a marketing consultant and head of an association of French-owned companies, said he could not identify the men who seized him Tuesday night as he went from his home to his office and commandeered his car.

He said he was taken to a remote part of the city and punched and kicked before one of his attackers drew a pistol. He wrestled with the man and the gun went off, hitting him in the stomach, but he managed to escape and reach his car.

Brechat, who said he had lived in Ivory Coast for 35 years and had never been involved in politics, was taken by French peacekeepers to their base in Abidjan, where his wound was treated.

Thousands of French residents fled Ivory Coast in November amid hostile demonstrations after French forces destroyed the government air force for breaking a truce and attacking rebels holding the north of the country.

The attacks killed a number of French peacekeepers maintaining a fragile truce between the two sides, while in the demonstrations French forces shot dead several Ivorians.

Since then, supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo have maintained an aggressively anti-French campaign.

Gbagbo has repeatedly accused the French, who helped broker a peace deal to end a rebellion two years ago, of working against his regime.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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