French troops move towards Gbagbo's Abidjan residence

ABIDJAN - A column of about 30 French armored vehicles was seen advancing from one of Abidjan's main boulevards towards the residence of Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo on Monday, a witness told Reuters.
"The vehicles are advancing and there are (French) soldiers behind with an helicopter hovering above," said Alfred Kouassi, a resident who lives in a high-rise building overlooking the boulevard.
"We can hear automatic gunfire," he said.
A French military spokesman in Abidjan said the aim of the operation was to avoid a "bloodbath" but declined to give further details.
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