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African Union to Hold Crisis Meeting on Renewed Ivory Coast Violence

Senior officials from the African Union are holding emergency talks Saturday, to discuss the most serious outbreak of violence in Ivory Coast since last year's cease-fire.

The AU chairman, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, is hosting the talks in southwest Nigeria. The chairman of the AU commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, is attending, along with other regional leaders.

On Thursday, Ivorian government warplanes began air raids against rebel-held territory in the north, shattering a truce and pushing the divided nation to the brink of renewed civil war. The United Nations says the violence has killed at least 18 people.

Government soldiers and rebel forces are reported to be moving toward the cease-fire line and a surrounding buffer zone, currently monitored by 10,000 peacekeeping troops from France and the United Nations.