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'Gbagbo refuses to quit, alleges coup'

world Updated: Apr 01, 2011 15:38 IST
Laurent Gbagbo

Laurent Gbagbo has no intention of quitting power in Ivory Coast despite being under attack by forces loyal to his rival which he brands a "coup d'etat", his representative in Paris said on Friday.

"President Laurent Gbagbo has no intention of abdicating or giving himself up to any rebel at all," said Toussaint Alain, a close ally of Gbagbo who acts as his Europe spokesman in Paris.

"He is facing a post-electoral coup d'etat by Alassane Ouattara who is supported by an international coalition."

The United Nations and much of the international community recognise Ouattara as the rightful leader of Ivory Coast after UN-certified results showed him to have won an election, but Gbagbo has refused to give up power.

Ouattara's ambassador in Paris, Ally Coulibaly, said Thursday that Gbagbo will not be hurt if he gives himself up to his opponents' forces.

Gunfire erupted around Gbagbo's home and the presidential palace in the main city Abidjan on Friday, local residents and AFP journalists reported.

Residents said guards still loyal Gbagbo were fighting back against Ouattara's army.

Gbagbo's whereabouts could not be confirmed.

"He is on Ivorian territory. I cannot tell you exactly where he is," said Alain, who said he was in regular contact with Gbagbo and his aides.