Gbagbo Forces Regain Ground

Reports of his pending surrender greatly exaggerated
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2011 12:59 PM CDT
Men detained for unknown reasons by soldiers loyal to Alassane Ouattara are brought for questioning to a republican forces operating base on the outskirts of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Saturday, April 9, 2011.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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(Newser) – Laurent Gbagbo, supposedly all but defeated, is surging, with forces loyal to him retaking control of two districts in Abidjan. "They clearly used the lull of Tuesday (for peace talks) as a trick to reinforce their position," a UN official says. Further, Alassane Outtara's fighters may have exaggerated their claims of having Gbagbo surrounded, notes the BBC. State-run television broadcast a message saying, "The regime of Gbagbo is still in place, a strong mobilization is required by the population."

The French embassy suffered heavy weapons fire today, which it blamed on Gbagbo. Gbagbo forces, in turn, denied responsibility, saying, "France is just looking for a pretext to get rid of President Laurent Gbagbo." "Gbagbo's days of influence are clearly numbered but the fighting continues," writes the BBC correspondent on the ground. (Read more Laurent Gbagbo stories.)

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