ABIDJAN - Liberia closed its border with Ivory Coast on Saturday but did not confirm the claim by Abidjan that gunmen who killed seven United Nations peacekeepers, eight civilians and a soldier had come from its territory.

Ivory Coast Defense Minister Paul Koffi Koffi said the raid on Friday afternoon highlighted the need for Ivorian troops to carry out cross-border operations in Liberia to improve security but Monrovia's government said no such plans were in place.

The United Nations said it was reshuffling some of its several thousand troops deployed in the zone to protect civilians in the border area. The bodies of its slain Nigerien troops reached Abidjan by late afternoon.

The attack highlights simmering tensions and security threats in the west of the world's top cocoa grower despite a year of progress that stabilized much of the rest of the country after months of post-election violence last year.

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