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As Rival Presidents Battle, 800 Massacred In Ivory Coast


Fighters loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo patrol the empty streets of Abidjan on March 31.

Fighters loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo patrol the empty streets of Abidjan on March 31.

There has been fierce fighting in Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan between the forces of UN-recognized President Alassane Ouattara and those loyal to his rival, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.

Quattara's forces have made sweeping gains in the past week but have failed so far to defeat Gbagbo in Abidjan.

Residents say they fear for their safety amid clashes at the presidential palace, TV station, and other districts.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross says at least 800 people were massacred in the west earlier in the week.

The United States, France, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, and the African Union urged Gbagbo to step down immediately, citing concerns over citizens caught up in the country's bloody postelection conflict.

compiled from agency reports
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