French stand-off

FRANCE HAS been urged to withdraw tanks from the Ivory Coast’s main city by a spokesman for President Laurent Gbagbo. French troops have been deployed across Abidjan and have taken control of its airport after anti-French riots. More than 410 people were hurt.

Then French troops fired in the air to disperse hundreds of people who responded to a radio call for a “human shield” to protect the president. France’s senior general in the Ivory Coast denied planning to oust Gbagbo.

But a spokesman for Gbagbo said dozens of French tanks had taken positions around the president’s residence.