Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Israel says it is 'days' from completing Gaza tunnel hunt

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with holdout creditors

    Read more

  • Liberia shuts all schools as Ebola virus spreads

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    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)