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Annan Recommends More UN Troops for Ivory Coast


The head of the United Nations says the peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast is overstretched and needs thousands of additional troops as long-delayed elections near.

In a report to the Security Council, Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommended an additional 3,400 troops and 475 policemen be sent to the west African nation.

Elections scheduled for last October have been postponed by up to a year.

Now, nearly 6,900 U.N. soldiers and 4,000 French troops patrol the buffer zone between the government-run south and rebel-controlled north. Another 700 police officers help keep the peace in urban areas and train Ivory Coast officers.

Mr. Annan's recommendation comes days after unidentified gunmen attacked two military bases in the capital city of Abidjan. The military says 10 people were killed in the fighting, although this has not been independently confirmed.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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