Pro-Gbagbo unit suspected of foreigners' kidnap: new regime

30th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Ivory Coast's justice minister said Saturday that members of a special army unit of deposed president Laurent Gbagbo were the leading suspects in the kidnapping of four foreigners earlier this month in Abidjan.

"An investigation has been launched over the kidnapping... There are several leads, the most serious being elements of the Republican Guards," said Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou, referring to the elite army squad.

The four -- two French, a Beninese and a Malaysian -- were seized from Abidjan's Novotel Hotel on April 4 by armed men.

They were taken at the height of Ivory Coast's political crisis sparked by Gbagbo's refusal to step down despite losing the November 28 elections to rival Alassane Ouattara.

Gbagbo was eventually arrested by forces loyal to Ouattara on April 11 and is now under house arrest in the northern Korhogo town.

Authorities have said preliminary investigations have been launched against Gbagbo for crimes by his regime.

© 2011 AFP

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