Clashes spread to Ivory Coast’s political capital

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ABIDJAN – Clashes between Ivory Coast security forces and supporters of would-be president Alassane Ouattara spread in the early hours to the political capital, Yamoussoukro, witnesses said on Friday. Patrols of the Defence and Security Forces (FDS) loyal to outgoing president Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to step down after November elections, came under fire in the Dioulabougou district, and sustained shooting went on until 7am (0700 GMT). A local journalist told AFP that sporadic gunfire could still be heard later in the morning.
Ivory Coast has been gripped by increasing unrest since a presidential poll on November 28, which much of the international community acknowledges was won by opposition leader Ouattara, but Gbagbo has clung to power and has the support of the FDS. There were no details of casualties in Yamoussoukro, but an FDS member said the city’s military school of Zambakro had been placed on alert following the clashes.
The political capital founded by the “father of the nation”, Felix Houphou