French embassy home hit

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — France’s embassy to Ivory Coast said today that their ambassador’s residence was hit by artillery fired from positions held by forces supporting the country’s strongman, who refuses to emerge from a bunker at his residence next door to the French compound.

Today’s statement said two mortars and a rocket hit the residence this afternoon and it is the second such attack in 48 hours. The statement did not say if there were any injuries or casualties.

The statement also noted that a U.N. Security Council resolution would permit them to destroy the weapons used to target the French compound.

Forces supporting the democratically elected president have tried for days to force strongman Laurent Gbagbo from his bunker, but he refuses to emerge or cede power.

Internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara imposed a blockade today around Gbagbo’s presidential residence, and said he’ll focus on normalizing life in this corpse-strewn, terrorized city.

As the military standoff dragged on in Abidjan, there were new concerns Friday about tensions erupting into deadly violence in the country’s west. The U.N. said more than 100 bodies have been found in the last 24 hours, and some of the victims had been burned alive.

"All the incidents appear at least partly ethnically motivated," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. (AP)


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