11 Apr 2011

Foreign forces fire on Gbagbo

12:04 pm on 11 April 2011

UN and French helicopters in Ivory Coast have fired on the residence of incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo.

The UN said it was neutralising Mr Gbagbo's heavy weapons, which had been used to attack civilians in various locations.

A Gbagbo spokesman said the residence was partially destroyed - but would not say whether Mr Gbagbo was present.

A BBC correspondent says the UN has not yet assessed how much damage it had inflicted.

On Saturday pro-Gbagbo forces attacked a hotel used by Alassane Ouattara.

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says he requested the air strikes because Mr Gbagbo's forces were using heavy weapons against both the civilian population and his peacekeepers.

Mr Gbagbo has been in power since 2000. He refuses to cede power to Mr Ouattara, who was widely recognised as the winner of presidential elections last November.