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Ivory Coast Rebels Attack Daloa - 2002-10-13

Rebels in Ivory Coast have attacked the central city of Daloa, in the west African country's rich cocoa growing region.

Witnesses said rebel forces appeared to face little resistance when they entered Daloa, which lies in Ivory Coast's main cocoa growing region. Residents in the city say para-military police forces ran from their posts when they learned the insurgents had entered the city.

French military officers posted in the political capital Yamoussoukro, to the east, said loyalist forces were rushing reinforcements to Daloa via the town of Bouafle late Saturday.

The latest rebel advance came amid renewed negotiations for a ceasefire between the government and rebels, who launched their insurgence on September 19.

President Laurent Gbagbo on Saturday replaced his defense minister, who government sources say he blamed for failing to quell the three week rebellion.