Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

US journalist Peter Theo Curtis freed in Syria

Read more

WEB NEWS

"Ice Bucket Challenge" angers anti-abortion activists

Read more

ENCORE!

An art wonderland: A burnt-out piano, a bed in a box and a giant magic mushroom

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Historian Jean Garrigues: 'For the first time, Hollande knows what he is doing'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Valls ♥ Business

Read more

  • Russian troops have entered Ukraine, says Kiev

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

Africa

UN and French helicopters fire on Gbagbo residence

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-04-11

Smoke could be seen rising from Ivory Coast’s incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo’s residence in Abidjan on Sunday, after French and UN helicopters fired on the building during an operation to eliminate heavy weapons used by pro-Gbagbo forces.

REUTERS - French and U.N. helicopters attacked heavy weapons of troops loyal to Ivory Coast's incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo on Sunday and Gbagbo's spokesman said his residence had been partly destroyed.

"U.N. and French helicopters continue to fire at President Gbagbo's residence which has been partially destroyed," Ahoua Don Mello said by phone.

 
"There is thick smoke coming from it, but we have no other details on the damage," he said. He declined to say whether Gbagbo was at the residence at the time.
 
"We are pursuing our operation to neutralise Gbagbo's heavy weapons," U.N. mission spokesman Hamadoun Toure told Reuters.
 
"We had to stop the operation for a couple of days to evaluate and have realised that there are still some heavy weapons that they had used against civilians and the U.N."
 
France 24 exclusive: Ouattara's headquarters at the Golf Hotel under fire
A Reuters correspondent at the French military base near the airport, about 15 km from Gbagbo's residence, said he could hear loud explosions coming from the direction of the fighting. He said four helicopters, two U.N. and two French, were carrying out operations.
 
A resident of Cocody neighbourhood where Gbagbo's residence is situated said he could see thick black smoke coming from the building.
 
Forces loyal to Gbagbo had stepped up a counter-attack on presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara by firing on his hotel headquarters in Abidjan on Saturday. The hotel is guarded by U.N. forces.
 
Residents near the presidential palace and Gbagbo's residence where he is said to be holed up with his family, close advisers and about 1,000 militiamen, said they heard heavy cannon fire and shooting late on Sunday afternoon.
 
In Paris, lawyers for Ouattara in a letter to the French government and the international community on Sunday, asked United Nations and French forces to eliminate Gbagbo's heavy weapons and militia and bring him to justice.
 
Rebel forces trying to install Ouattara, who won an election last November according to results certified by the United Nations, swept from the north to coastal Abidjan almost unopposed more than a week ago.
 
But despite a fierce rebel onslaught, Gbagbo's soldiers have held onto swathes of the city and launched a counter-attack on his hotel.
 
Even if Gbagbo leaves, Ouattara's ability to unify the West African country, the world's No.1 cocoa producer, may be undermined by reports of atrocities against civilians since his forces charged into Abidjan. Ouattara's camp has denied involvement.
 
A U.N. spokesman in Abidjan said Saturday's attack on the Golf Hotel, which Ouattara has made his base since the election, involved heavy weapons that appeared to have been fired from Gbagbo's heavily defended residence.
 
"This was not a fight, but a direct attack by Gbagbo's forces, who fired RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and mortar rounds, from positions near Gbagbo's residence, at the Golf Hotel," said U.N. spokesman Toure.
 
He said one U.N. peacekeeper had been hurt, and U.N. forces had responded by firing on those positions.

 

Date created : 2011-04-10

  • F24 EXCLUSIVE REPORT

    Power struggle homes in on central Abidjan

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Gbagbo loyalists regain ground in central Abidjan

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    EU lifts sanctions on two key ports at Ouattara’s request

    Read more

COMMENT(S)