Diplomatic and Military Affairs

Gbagbo detained by French in his residence

Updated: 2011-04-11 21:28


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ABIDJAN - Cote d'Ivoire's incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and his wife were detained on Monday in a French-led military assault at his residence in Abidjan and taken to the Golf Hotel, the base of the West Africa country's pro-Ouattara forces.

Both French ambassador to Cote d'Ivoire and Ouattara's spokesperson Affoussy Bamba have confirmed the arrest of the 65- year-old strongman.  

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But French officials later denied Gbagbo was arrested by Ouattara's forces rather than French special forces. He was reportedly seized around midday.

Cote d'Ivoire's envoy to UN Youssoufou Bamba said hours after the detention that Gbagbo is now "alive and well" and will be put on trial.

The latest development came after the months-long political impasses between Cote d'Ivoire's strongman Gbagbo and Ouattara, who is internationally recognized as the winner of the November 28 presidential run-off last year.

French troops deployed in Cote d'Ivoire sent helicopters and armored vehicles on Monday morning in the decisive swoop upon Gbagbo's last bastion in Cote d'Ivoire's economic capital.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Ouattara had a lengthy talk over phone after the arrest of Gbagbo, according to the Elysee palace.



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