France says its army joins UN action in Ivory Coast

PARIS, April 4 Mon Apr 4, 2011 2:02pm EDT

PARIS, April 4 (Reuters) - France has authorised its military to participate in a United Nations operation in Ivory Coast to protect civilians against escalating violence there, the president's office said on Monday.

The Elysee Palace said the operation aimed to neutralise heavy weapons belonging to troops loyal to Laurent Gbagbo who are fighting forces supporting Alassane Ouattara's rival claim to the presidency.

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