French reinforce troop contingent in Ivory Coast

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France has reinforced its troop contingent in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan, adding around 150 troops to take the force to nearly 1,100 in total, the French defence ministry said Friday amid fighting.

The force had previously numbered 900 troops. Reinforced patrols had been deployed since Thursday in the south of the city to protect French and other nationals from looters.

Forces backing the internationally recognised winner of November 2010 elections have been battling to take control of the city from forces loyal to Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo who has refused to relinquish the presidency.

© 2011 AFP

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