Gbagbo's Ivory Coast Home Under Attack

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The home of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo has again come under fire one day after the incumbent leader sought to negotiate the terms of his resignation with United Nations authorities.
    
Opposition forces fired on the presidential palace Wednesday where the strongman and his family are currently holed up. 

"At the current moment they have not yet captured Gbagbo, but it will happen soon," Affoussy Bamba told the Associated Press by telephone from Abidjan.  

"They opened the gates and noted that the residence is surrounded by heavy weaponry," she said. "Now the objective is to capture him."
    
On Tuesday, Gbagbo called for a cease-fire in order to negotiate a peaceful surrender. But those talks broke down.
    
Gbagbo says his opponent, Allasane Outtara, who won last year's presidential election with 54 percent of the vote, rigged the election.

"Come and seek the truth to come here and to do a recount of the votes," Gbagbo told CBN News earlier this year. "The rebels have given 600,000 votes to my opponent, 600,000!"

France, the U.S. and the U.N. have recognized Outtara as the nation's rightful leader. Forces loyal to the president-elect have been backed by French and U.S. helicopter airstrikes.

CBN International Correspondent Gary Lane, who traveled to Ivory Coast earlier this year, says Ivory Coast Christians are watching the developments very closely.
    
"The Christians are very concerned about it because, as you know, many of the people in the north are Muslim," Lane said.  

"But I think it would be a mistake to call this a Muslim versus Christian conflict because it's not," he added. "It's more ethnic and more political - the French trying to maintain control of that country their former colony."

President Obama defended the U.N.'s military actions in the Ivory Coast. He said Gbagbo must "stand down" in order to prevent more bloodshed.

"Tragically, the violence that we are seeing could have been averted had Laurent Gbagbo respected the results of last year's presidential election," Obama said in a statement Tuesday.  

"To end this violence and prevent more bloodshed, former President Gbagbo must stand down immediately, and direct those who are fighting on his behalf to lay down their arms," the president said.

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