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Ivory Coast treasury hit by fire in Abidjan

  • 2-8-2011

_51153768_011216165-1.jpgA fire has broken out at Ivory Coast's treasury, destroying financial documents in the main city, Abidjan.

The cause of the blaze in the high-rise building was not clear but several floors were damaged before it was brought under control.

The international community is trying to force Laurent Gbagbo to accept defeat at least year's elections.

Last month, Mr Gbagbo's allies seized regional bank offices after officials refused to accept his signature.

The UN, backed by Western powers and the African Union, says Alassane Ouattara won the election and so the West African central bank said it would only obey his orders.

Ivory Coast is one of eight countries which use a common currency - the CFA franc, which is tied to the euro.

Mr Ouattara has also tried to increase financial pressure on Mr Gbagbo by calling for a halt to cocoa exports in the world's largest producer.

On Monday, there were clashes between Mr Gbagbo's security forces and Ouattara supporters in parts of Abidjan.

Two police stations were ransacked and three bodies were found later, reports the AFP news agency.

Mr Ouattara remains blockaded in a hotel in Abidjan, protected by UN peacekeepers and former rebels who still control northern areas.

November's presidential vote was supposed to reunify the country, which has been divided between north and south since a conflict in 2002.

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