Gbagbo forces reported to have gained ground in Ivorian city of Abidjan

Saturday, April 9, 2011

According to the United Nations, forces loyal to disputed Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo have resumed fighting in the city of Abidjan. According to reports, the troops regained control of parts of the city.

After a brief lull in fighting, while it was reported that Gbagbo officials were negotiating a surrender, violence resumed. A U.N. official said that Gbagbo forces "clearly used the lull of Tuesday as a trick to reinforce their position," and now control the Plateau and Cocody regions of Abidjan.

Gbagbo forces are reportedly using heavy weaponry, including rocket launchers and grenade launchers, as well as tanks and armored troop transports. The French ambassador's house was reportedly attacked, resulting in counter-strikes by French helicopters. Gbagbo forces deny being involved in the attack.

Toussaint Alain, an advisor to Gbagbo, has denied reports that Gbagbo forces are in possession of heavy weapons, claiming that previous French attacks had destroyed their weaponry. He said that "France is just looking for a pretext to get rid of President Laurent Gbagbo."