Gbagbo taken to Abidjan's Golf Hotel: Ouattara spokesman

Gbagbo taken to Abidjan's Golf Hotel: Ouattara spokesman

PARIS (Reuters) - Forces loyal to Ivory Coast's Alassane Ouattara have taken Laurent Gbagbo to the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, after he was detained in his residence, a Ouattara spokesman in France told Reuters.

Separately, a French defence ministry official confirmed to Reuters that Gbagbo had been detained in his residence. He said he was arrested by Ouattara's forces, backed by U.N. peacekeepers and French forces.

"He's been taken to the Golf Hotel," Herve Cohx, a political adviser and spokesman, told Reuters.

A French diplomatic source denied, however, that French forces had penetrated Gbagbo's residence.

Ivory Coast's ambassador in France, Ali Coulibaly, said shortly afterwards on French i-tele television that Gbagbo's wife had also been detained.


UN, French fire on Gbagbo residence in Ivory Coast


By MARCO CHOWN OVED, Associated Press Marco Chown Oved, Associated Press – Sun Apr 10, 5:32 pm ET

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – United Nations and French helicopters fired rockets on strongman Laurent Gbagbo's residence on Sunday in an assault the U.N. said was to retaliate for attacks by his forces on U.N. headquarters and civilians.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he had authorized the strikes, accusing Gbagbo of using heavy weapons against Ivory Coast civilians and the U.N. forces trying to protect them.

Residents from nearby neighborhoods reported seeing two U.N. Mi-24 attack helicopters and a French helicopter open fire on the residence, where Gbagbo is holed up in a bunker. The residents couldn't be named for fear of reprisal.

An Associated Press reporter saw the helicopters take off from the French military base followed minutes later by explosions coming from the direction of the residence. Successive waves of French helicopters took off from the base in the following hours and additional bombardments could be heard.

Gbagbo has been living in a bunker in his residence in Abidjan for nearly a week. After a decade in power, he refuses to step aside even though the United Nations has ruled that he lost the November presidential election to Alassane Ouattara.

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