Pro-Ouattara Forces Capture 2 Ivory Coast Towns

Published on Tuesday 29th March 2011

Witnesses and fighters from Ivory Coast's rival sides said Tuesday forces backing internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara have taken control of two towns.The pro-Ouattara fighters seized control of the western town of Daloa and eastern town of Bondoukou from forces of incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo.Intense fighting broke out Monday in the western town of Duekoue, a strategically important town that has long been held by pro-Gbagbo forces.  The Ouattara fighters said they captured the town, but Gbagbo forces said Monday it has not yet fallen.The fighting came as pro-Ouattara forces launched offensives in several areas of the country.Gbagbo has defied intense international pressure to turn over power to Ouattara, who the United Nations and African Union recognize as the winner of last November's presidential election.Pro-Ouattara rebels have been making gains in recent weeks, seizing at least five western towns from pro-Gbagbo troops.The U.N. refugee agency says up to one million people have fled their homes because of post-election violence in Ivory Coast.The United Nations says at least 462 people have been killed in violence since the crisis began in December.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.


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