French troops enforcing a cease-fire in Ivory Coast clashed Monday for a fifth time with anti-government forces, leaving 30 rebels dead and nine French soldiers injured, the French military chief of staff said in Paris.
The rebel attack, reportedly the largest against French forces since they deployed in the former colony in the month of September, was blamed on renegade elements opposed to the October 17 cease-fire, which Paris helped to renegotiate last week.
French general staff spokesman Colonel Christian Baptiste told AFP that "totally uncontrolled" elements were responsible for the attack.
"Today's fighting shows that some of the armed rebel forces don't seem to go along with the measures agreed to at the weekend," Baptiste said.
The military spokesman was referring to a deal secured during a visit last weekend by French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, in which President Laurent Gbagbo and the main rebel group, the People's Movement of Ivory Coast, agreed to maintain the cease-fire established in October. (Albawaba.com)
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