Friday 24 November 2017

Laurent Gbagbo captured in Ivory Coast

Laurent Gbagbo was handed over to democratically elected leader Alassane Ouattara following his capture. Photo: Getty Images
Laurent Gbagbo was handed over to democratically elected leader Alassane Ouattara following his capture. Photo: Getty Images
A picture taken on April 11, 2011 shows Laurent Gbagbo surrounded by troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara appearing on a TV footage on Ivorian television channel TCI shortly after his capture. Photo: Getty Images
Residents celebrate as a soldier loyal to internationally recognised Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara ride past them on a road in Ange, a district in Abidjan, following the news that Gbagbo has been arrested on April 11. Photo: Getty Images

Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo has been captured by his opponents after months of clinging on to power in the wake of a failed election bid.

He was handed over to democratically elected leader Alassane Ouattara following an attack by French forces earlier.

It was the first time that troops from the country's former colonial ruler were involved in the ground operation against Gbagbo.

The French tanks rolled into Abidjan city centre a day after a second aerial bombardment struck his positions around the city.

Forces loyal to Mr Ouattara joined the battle, attacking positions around the state television station and Gbagbo's home.

Only several hundred yards from Gbagbo's mansion, at least 10 armoured vehicles flying the French flag drove through the area, sending pro-Gbagbo gunmen fleeing.

Two tanks took up a position at a key intersection, while the others advanced toward Gbagbo's home.

The United Nations backed results showing Gbagbo lost the November presidential election but he refused to acknowledge defeat. The dispute pushed the world's largest cocoa producer to the brink of renewed civil war.

Late last month forces backing Mr Ouattara began an offensive to oust Gbagbo. UN and French forces joined the effort last week to force him from his bunker in Abidjan.

Press Association

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