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French deny attempt to kill Ivory Coast leader

ABIDJAN, Jan 31 (AFP) – French peacekeepers in Ivory Coast denounced Monday as a “crude rumour without any base in truth” information in the pro-government media that their troops had attempted to kill President Laurent Gbagbo.

The Notre Voie (Our Path) daily linked to Gbagbo’s ruling Ivorian Popular Front party charged that French troops tried to assassinate Gbagbo on Saturday at Abidjan’s airport by shooting down his plane when he was leaving for the African Union summit in Nigeria.

The French peacekeeping contingent said the paper had turned a small misunderstanding into a “fantasy”.

The Reporters Without Borders media rights group has repeatedly criticised the Ivorian government-controlled media for encouraging a climate of hate and encouraging the riots against foreigners last year.

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


Subject: French News