Onslaught rages in Ivory Coast’s main city
Forces attempting to establish Alassane Outtara as Ivory Coast’s democratically elected president charged the residence of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo early Friday, a spokesman for Outtara’s government said. Spokesman Patrick Archi told Reuters, "His house is under attack. That’s for sure. There is a resistance, but it’s under attack."
Details of the attack on Gbagbo’s residence follow hours of tumult between the two groups and comments by Outtara’s camp that they took over the nearby headquarters of state broadcaster RTI, which went off air late on Thursday evening.
There was no direct reaction from Gbagbo’s camp. Outtara’s army descended Thursday on Ivory Coast’s largest city and seat of power, confident for a final push to unseat Gbagbo.
Forces supporting Outtara have acquired nearly 80% of the country as soldiers escaped and towns fell in quick succession. The regular army put up almost no hindrance during the four-day assault, including the ruler’s hometown, where soldiers broke into Gbagbo’s compound and slept in his bed.
But they may encounter fierce resistance on the peninsula where the presidential palace is located, surrounded on all sides by a natural moat "Abidjan’s glassy lagoon."
Almost one million civilians have fled the fighting and at least 490 people have been killed since the election, most of them supporters of Outtara.