UPDATE on Ivorian Crisis: Heavy shooting near Ouattara's base

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (PANA) – Heavy shooting took place all morning Thursday in Cocody, at the vicinity of the hotel where Alassane Ouattara is operating from, PANA reported, quoting witnesses.

"In our home it is quiet, but we can hear from far away some sounds of bombs and guns firing away," an inhabitant of Mpouto, located not far from the hotel, told PANA.

Forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo have reportedly blocked roads to leading to the hotel while the pro-Ouattara forces are battling to make the roads accessible to their supporters.

The Ivorian political crisis followed the 28 November presidential run-off vote after the Independent Electoral Commission named Ouattara winner.

But this result was quashed 24 hours later by the pro-Gbagbo Constitutional Council which returned Gbagbo winner.

The development sparked the formation of two governments in that country with outgoing Gbagbo staying put and Ouattara operating from a hotel room.

The international community has asked Gbagbo to accept defeat and hand over power unconditionally but he has refused to yield grounds.

Tension remains high all the morning and early afternoon in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital.
-0- PANA GB/JSG/MTD/VAO 16Dec2010

16 december 2010 14:29:39

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