Ivory Coast's Gbagbo still in Abidjan: French officials

1st April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Ivory Coast's besieged strongman Laurent Gbagbo is still in the country's main city Abidjan despite attacks by rival forces, and is probably in the presidential residence, French officials said on Friday.

"We are practically certain that he is in Abidjan in his residence," the official home for presidents of the country where Gbagbo is defiantly clinging to power, one French official who asked not to be named told AFP.

Gunfire and explosions rocked Abidjan Friday as forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, internationally recognised as the rightful leader of the country after last year's election, battled to drive Gbagbo from power.

The official in France, which still has ties to its former colony Ivory Coast and follows its affairs closely, said Gbagbo was believed to have abandoned the presidential palace and fled to the residence.

Another French official said Gbagbo was "in his residence with his republican guard," while Ouattara's forces were "encircling" the site.

© 2011 AFP

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