Ouattara's men storm Cote d'Ivoire Embassy in Guinea

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More than a dozen supporters of Cote d'Ivoire's Alassane Ouattara on Friday morning seized the country's embassy in the Guinean capital Conakry.

Speaking to Xinhua from the embassy compound, the leader of the movement Yhasehe Apholors said they will maintain a blockade on the embassy until further notice.

One of the embassy workers who tried to persuade the angry demonstrators to return home but failed had to seek police protection to allow him to go without being molested by the protesting youths.

Security forces stood by to look on the protesting youths, who later handed over control of the embassy to the police in a bid to avoid further confrontations with the embassy authorities.

Apholors said they will keep an eye on the embassy until a new ambassador is sent by their president Ouattara to replace the current head of the embassy named by incumbent Laurent Gbagbo.

A delegation from the Guinean Foreign Ministry had to intervene to calm the youths.

According to Alpholors, they ended their brief take-over of the embassy after receiving a call from their authorities in Cote d'Ivoire to return home.

This the first time that Ouattara's supporters have taken an action of the kind in Conakry since the Nov. 28 presidential run- off in Cote d'Ivoire.

Both Ouattara and Gbagbo claim to have won the election in a political standoff, in which the international community recognizes Ouattara as the president-elect, pressing Gbagbo to quit.

The West African bloc ECOWAS threatens the legitimate use of force to oust Gbagbo, unless the 65-year-old incumbent hand over power.

Three African presidents of ECOWAS will return to Abidjan, the economic capital of Cote d'Ivoire, on Jan. 3 to continue persuading Gbagbo to leave after a mission on Tuesday.

ECOWAS is reportedly making a military plan to intervene although still hoping for success in its diplomacy.

According to the United Nations, more than 170 people have died in clashes since the second round of the election, while 19,000 refugees to fled to neighboring Liberia and Guinea.

The country is facing the danger of another war with tensions escalating between the two presidents and the two governments.

The long-delayed elections are expected to end the division following the 2002-2003 civil war. But the post-election violence proves a similar line between the New Forces-controlled north and Gbagbo's south.


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