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Ivory Coast poll dispute sparks exodus as fears of civil war loom

About 14,000 people have fled Ivory Coast for Liberia, the UN said yesterday, amid fears that a dispute over the 28 November election will rekindle a civil war.

The Economic Community of West African States added to world pressure on Ivory Coast's President, Laurent Gbagbo, to cede power to his rival, Alassane Ouattara, saying the incumbent could face "legitimate force" if he refuses.

It was the first direct threat of foreign military intervention in the stand-off, in which 200 have been killed.