Ivory Coast Soldier 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The UN on Friday used armored vehicles to extricate four Israeli diplomats holed
up in the embassy in an embattled area of Abidjan to one of the secure areas in
the city, from where they were flown by helicopter to the airport, and then by
plane to neighboring Ghana.
The embassy was hit by gunfire last week, but
no one was injured.
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The embassy is located in an area of embassies and
government offices that was the scene of intense fighting last week between
forces loyal to the incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to give up
power, and those of Alassane Ouattara, who beat Gbagbo in an election in
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman spoke last week to French
Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and asked to allow the diplomats, including
ambassador Daniel Sa’ada, and other Israelis in the city, to take shelter at a
secure French base there.
Some 18 Israelis – making up seven families –
are still believed to be in Abidjan.
The French embassy in Tel Aviv
issued a statement Saturday welcoming the evacuation of the Israeli diplomats.