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Ivory Coast Government Says It Has Uncovered Coup Plot

Ivory Coast's joint army and police force says it has uncovered a plot to stage a coup against President Laurent Gbagbo's government.

In a statement broadcast on Ivory Coast television Tuesday, Colonel Babri Gohourou said the plot included plans to assassinate the president and other political and military officials.

He said the coup was to have taken place between December 12-17 with the help of an unspecified military force in Ivory Coast.

Gohourou said a group of civilians and servicemen have been trying for several weeks to recruit members of the military to join the alleged coup plot.

He says defense forces are taking all necessary security measures and continue to investigate the matter.

A 2002 coup attempt sparked a civil war in Ivory Coast that divided the country into separate rebel-and government-controlled areas. An ongoing U.N. peace process is attempting to reunite the country.