Source Pravda.Ru

Jacques Chirac sent more forces to Ivory Coast

French troops destroyed two Ivory Coast warplanes Saturday in response on a government bombing raid, where eight French soldiers were killed and at least 23 others wounded.

In Paris, President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/02/12/26365.html ' target=_blank>Jacques Chirac ordered the destruction of any other aircraft that violated the ceasefire and his office announced that two companies of troops were being rushed to the area to buttress the 4,000-member French peace-keeping force.

In addition, Paris scrambled three Mirage fighter jets from Chad to Libreville in Gabon, wrote Turkish Press.

Mobs of machete-wielding pro-government supporters rampaged through Abidjan, furious at the French destruction of the planes. Plumes of smoke rose from the plush Cocody suburb.

The &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2001/02/19/2573.html ' target=_blank>French embassy said a French school in Cocody had been set ablaze, four French policemen were evacuated from a building by helicopter before it too was burned down and that there was a loud explosion near the embassy. The escalating tension between the East African country and its former colonial ruler followed three days of a government air offensive to retake the rebel-held north of the country.

&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2002/09/24/37112.html ' target=_blank>French troops, in the Ivory Coast alongside U.N. soldiers as part of a 10,000-strong contingent to keep rebels and government forces from fighting, came under fire on Saturday, military officials said. Two additional companies of troops were being sent to the Ivory Coast to protect French nationals there, Chirac's office said. The defense ministry source said the two companies comprised a total of 300 soldiers.

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