Ivory Coast: Gbagbo loyalists killed in clash

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The Independent Online

Up to 15 members of the security forces were killed in the latest gun battles between supporters of the rival claimants to the presidency of the West African nation, an army source said yesterday.

The source, a military commander, said paramilitary police loyal to the incumbent leader, Laurent Gbagbo, were ambushed on Tuesday night by supporters of his rival, Alassane Ouattara. "We are talking about 10 to 15 deaths, essentially gendarmes [paramilitary police]," he said.

There was no official statement, but the pro-Gbagbo Notre Voie newspaper reported that two officers and a number of soldiers had been killed.

Mr Ouattara won the country's November election, according to UN-certified results, but Mr Gbagbo has refused to hand over power. More than 300 people have been killed since the poll and the stand-off has paralysed Ivory Coast's economy.

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