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Ivory Coast Rebels Deny Attacking Government Troops

Rebels denied army claims Thursday that fighting had broken out again in central Ivory Coast, saying the government was seeking excuses to relaunch the 5-month-old civil war. The army alleged fighting Wednesday in Zuenoula, a town west of Bouake, the stronghold of northern rebels. Ivorian army spokesman Lt. Col. Jules Yao Yao accused the rebels of attacking loyalist forces with shoulder-fired rockets, mortars, and rifles. He said a dozen loyalist soldiers had been injured, three seriously. News reports also carried dispatches of deadly fighting that began with a rebel attack. Rebel leader Guillaume Soro denied the reports of renewed fighting. “We have not moved along the cease-fire line,” he said at rebel headquarters in Bouake. Rebel commander Zacharia Kone, in the central town of Vavua, called the claims a “a plot started” by Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo “so that they could try to attack us.” Full Story

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