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Ivory Coast: Ouattara forces launch Abidjan assault

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Ivory Coast: Ouattara forces launch Abidjan assault

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It looks like the final showdown has begun.

After days of waiting, troops loyal to Ivory Coast’s presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara have launched a fresh assault to unseat his arch-rival.

A convoy of military vehicles was seen entering the main city of Abidjan. Heavy machinegun fire and explosions have been heard.

Until now, Ouattara’s forces have met fierce resistance from soldiers loyal to incumbent Laurent Gbagbo. He has refused to step down since a presidential poll last year, which UN-certified results show Ouattara won.

More than 1,500 people have been killed in Ivory Coast since the violence began, five months ago.