Fighting intensifies around Gbagbo home

Source Al Jazeera

Forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, Cote d'Ivoire's internationally recognised leader, continue to battle loyalists of his rival Laurent Gbagbo in the commercial capital of Abidjan, having seized control of state television overnight. Heavy fighting raged on Friday in the neighbourhoods close to the presidential palace as well as near Gbagbo's home and state TV broadcaster, as armed forces loyal to Ouattara tried to install him to power. Officials in France, which still has ties with its former colony and follows its affairs closely, said Gbagbo was still in the country despite attacks by rival forces, and is probably in the presidential residence. "We are practically certain that he is in Abidjan in his residence," one French official who asked not to be named told AFP the news agency. Residents, locked up in their homes, reported barrages of heavy arms fire punctuated by detonations throughout Thursday night. The latest fighting claimed a Swedish national working with the UN mission in the country, the UN and a security source said.