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Gbagbo says UN troops must leave Cote d'Ivoire

Updated: 2011-01-02 10:51
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ABIDJAN - Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d'Ivoire said Saturday that UN peacekeeping troops must leave the country as they "fired on civilians."

The UN troops "fired on our civilians, two of our citizens ... are now at the Abidjan military hospital," Gbagbo said on state RTI television. A UN patrol on Wednesday opened fire on a hostile crowd, injuring several civilians, the TV report said.

Cote d'Ivoire has been plagued with a political impasse since the landmark presidential run-off held on November 28. Both Gbagbo and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara claimed victory, swore themselves in as president and formed their respective government.

Gbagbo was backed by the country's Constitutional Council, while Ouattara has the support of the electoral commission.

The mission from the Economic Community of West African States was in Abidjan on Tuesday to ask Gbagbo to cede power to his rival Alassane Ouattara. The mission of three African presidents left Cote d'Ivoire on Wednesday without any sign of success.

They have vowed to come back to Cote d'Ivoire on January 3, 2011 to continue their mediation efforts.