Heavy fighting shakes Gbagbo grip on Ivory Coast

By REUTERS
April 5, 2011 13:03

 
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ABIDJAN - Forces loyal to Ivory Coast's presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara launched a major assault on the presidential palace on Tuesday, driving home their campaign to oust Laurent Gbagbo after UN and French helicopters left his military bases in flames.

Sustained machinegun and heavy weapons fire rang out into the morning from the direction of the palace in the commercial capital Abidjan, in the heaviest fighting since soldiers backing Ouattara entered the city five days ago.

Gunfire and explosions were also heard near Gbagbo's official residence in the leafy neighborhood of Cocody early on Tuesday, as well as in Adjame, where one of Gbagbo's largest military bases is located, witnesses said.

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