French troops take control of airport in I. Coast main city

3rd April 2011, Comments 0 comments

French peacekeepers have taken control of the airport in Abidjan as forces loyal to the country's rival presidents struggle for control of Ivory Coast's main city, the French military said Sunday.

France has also boosted its Licorne (Unicorn) peacekeeping mission in the cocoa-rich nation by 300 to around 1,400 troops, where part of their mission is to protect foreigners from attacks and looting amid rising insecurity.

"Licorne, in coordination with UNOCI (United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire), has taken control of Felix Houphouet-Boigny airport," chief of staff spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard told AFP.

"Two extra companies (around 300 soldiers) have been deployed in Abidjan by Hercules C-130 and Transall (C-160) transport planes," Burkhard added.

France already in recent days reinforced its troop contingent in Abidjan with around 150 troops.

© 2011 AFP

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