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Supporters Of Ivory Coast Candidates Clash


Demonstraters disperse because of tear gas thrown into the crowd by riot police during clashes in Abidjan on November 19, 2010.

Demonstraters disperse because of tear gas thrown into the crowd by riot police during clashes in Abidjan on November 19, 2010.

Witnesses in Ivory Coast say fighting broke out Friday evening between supporters of rival candidates in the country's presidential election, leaving at least five people injured.

Witnesses say several hundred youths clashed in the main commercial city of Abidjan before police dispersed them with tear gas.

The November 28 presidential runoff pits President Laurent Gbagbo against former prime minister Alassane Ouattara, the conclusion of Ivory Coast's first presidential election since a 2002 civil war. The first round of balloting in late October was peaceful.

Earlier Friday, an international media watchdog group urged Ivory Coast news organizations to refrain from bias and inflammatory language leading up to the vote.

Reporters Without Borders says several newspapers have been devoting more space to articles alleging that one of the two candidates wants to "destabilize" the country.

The Paris-based group also says two state-owned broadcast stations (La Primiere TV, La Nationale radio) have been displaying what it calls a "strong bias" towards the incumbent candidate, President Gbagbo.

President Gbagbo's term officially ended in 2005. However, new elections were repeatedly postponed because of a failure to disarm rebels and disputes over voter registrations.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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