Defiant Gbagbo Holed Up in Tunnel

Ousted Ivory Coast leader refuses to leave bunker
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2011 4:24 AM CDT
A soldier loyal to Alassane Ouattara mans a machine gun atop a pick-up truck as he prepares to deploy from a checkpoint at one of the main entrances to Abidjan, Ivory Coast.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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(Newser) – Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo appears to be a man who just doesn't know when he's beaten. The leader, who refused to relinquish power after losing an election to opponent Alassane Ouattara, is holed up in a tunnel built to connect his Abidjan residence to that of the French ambassador, AP reports. Forces fighting to install Ouattara are waiting for him to come out, and have promised he won't be harmed.

From his bunker, Gbagbo has given defiant interviews, slamming the international community and insisting that he won the election and will never step down. An Ouattara spokeswoman says she is confident that the end is near. "He has nothing left. His arsenal is gone. His army has evaporated," she said. "How much longer can he last?" An Ouattara-controlled TV station has been broadcasting clips from Downfall depicting Adolf Hitler's final days in his bunker. (Read more Laurent Gbagbo stories.)

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