Pro-Ouattara forces launch "final assault" in Cote d'Ivoire

08:27, May 04, 2011      

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After repeated warnings, the Cote d'Ivoire Republican Forces (FRCI) resolved on Monday to launch the "final assault" against the last stronghold of the country's deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo, whose supporters have continued to put up a resistance, three weeks after his arrest.

The FRCI offensive began on Monday in the pro-Gbagbo district of Yopougon in the economic capital Abidjan. It lasted throughout the day with heavy gunshots heard on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Eyewitnesses said they saw the FRCI backing president-elect Alassane Ouattara on top of pick-ups going through some regions of Yopougon such as Niangon, Sideci and Koweit, which host most of Gbagbo's militia.

A source close to the FRCI told Xinhua that pro-Gbagbo fighters who decide to put down their weapons will be spared, but those who will continue resisting despite the repeated warnings will be tracked down and disarmed by force.

On Friday, several fighters loyal to the deposed leader handed over their weapons in the presence of the country's military authorities.

However, others have continued to put up a resistance and they have been involved in confrontations with pro-Ouattara forces.

Cote d'Ivoire began a new chapter of its socio-political history with the arrest of the country's ex-leader Gbagbo on April 11 by forces loyal to Ouattara.

With the exception of Yopougon, which still has pockets of resistance, normalcy is returning to other parts of Abidjan.

Source: Xinhua
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