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Gbagbo supporters attack UN vehicles in Ivory Coast

Gbagbo supporters attack UN vehicles in Ivory Coast
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UN vehicles in Ivory Coast have been attacked by forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who is refusing to cede power despite being internationally recognised as having lost the presidential election.

A spokesman said six vehicles were set upon; a driver was beaten up at a makeshift roadblock in Abidjan.

In another attack, stones were reportedly thrown at an ambulance, injuring the driver and a doctor.

The UN is asking itself how it should respond in such situations.

“Do we fight our way through? Should we shoot our way through a civilian roadblock or for that matter everybody else’s roadblock?” said Simon Munzu, head of the UN’s human rights division in Ivory Coast. “This is a question that arises and which everybody has to ask and eventually to address because it’s a real challenge for us in terms of implementing our mandate.”

The world’s top cocoa grower has been locked in a violent power struggle since November’s election, which both candidates claim to have won.

Earlier this week several people died in clashes between Gbagbo supporters and those of his rival Alassane Ouattara.

After the latest attacks on UN vehicles, tension between the international mission and Gbagbo’s camp is at a new peak. There are fears that he may be trying to provoke the UN into committing an atrocity, sparking a backlash that would force a troop withdrawal.