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Ouattara Ministers Say Homes Looted in Abidjan


Ivory Coast's internationally-recognized President, Alassane Ouattara, right, addresses journalists following a meeting with African Union commission chairman Jean Ping, left, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, March 5, 2011

Ivory Coast's internationally-recognized President, Alassane Ouattara, right, addresses journalists following a meeting with African Union commission chairman Jean Ping, left, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, March 5, 2011

Supporters of Ivory Coast's incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, have allegedly looted the homes of at least eight ministers in the rival government of Alassane Ouattara.

Aides of Ouattara say members of a pro-Gbagbo youth group, the Young Patriots, raided and ransacked the homes in the commercial capital of Abidjan beginning on Thursday.

There were no reported injuries from the attacks. The United Nations says at least 365 people have died in post-election violence between Gbagbo and Ouattara supporters since early December.

Gbagbo is refusing to give up power in Ivory Coast, despite intense international pressure. Most of the international community recognizes Ouattara as the winner of a November presidential election.

On Saturday, Ouattara said he will attend an upcoming meeting of African Union leaders as part of efforts to resolve the country's political crisis.

The trip would mark the first time since the November 28 election that Ouattara leaves the country. The former prime minister has been barricaded in an Abidjan hotel, surrounded by troops loyal to Gbagbo. U.N. peacekeepers are guarding the hotel.

A panel of African leaders is trying to find a solution to the standoff. A top African Union official, Jean Ping, met with both of the rival presidents in Abidjan on Saturday. He said he passed a message to both of them but did not elaborate on its contents.

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