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France says it foiled I.Coast coup plot, arresting one-time putschist

French authorities said they had foiled a coup plot in Ivory Coast, announcing the arrest of Ibrahim Coulibaly, one of the leaders of a 1999 putsch in the west African country. They said Coulibaly was among 10 people arrested on Saturday including four men described as suspected mercenaries who were stopped by anti-terrorist police at Charles de Gaulle airport as they were preparing to fly to Ivory Coast. Six others, including Coulibaly, were arrested at a Left Bank hotel, suspected of directing and financing a new “destabilisation” plot against Ivory Coast, a law enforcement official said. Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo immediately thanked the French authorities for their move, calling it “a major act”. “Gbagbo thanks the president of the Republic and the French government for this major act,” said a statement by Gbagbo’s defence and security advisor, Bertin Kadet, adding that there had recently been indications of a new offensive on the capital, Abidjan. Full Story

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