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Gbagbo forces fire at UN sanctions experts

world Updated: Mar 01, 2011 02:45 IST
United Nations

Forces loyal to Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo opened fire on Monday on UN sanctions experts who tried to check on a suspected breach of an international arms embargo levied on the country, a UN source said.

The experts and an officer from the UN peacekeeping mission had gone to Yamoussoukro airport following reports that three attack helicopters from Belarus had been sent to Gbagbo's forces in breach of a UN embargo decided in 2004, the source said.

The group "were forced to withdraw when fired upon," the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

No injuries were reported but UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has demanded that the UN Security Council urgently meet to discuss the embargo breach as tensions rise in Ivory Coast. The UN's Ivory Coast sanctions committee discussed the case on Monday.