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UN Peacekeepers Disperse Protesters in Ivory Coast - 2004-10-11


U.N. peacekeepers in Ivory Coast have fired into the air to disperse protesters who attacked a U.N. office in the rebel-controlled town of Bouake.

Witnesses say three civilians were hospitalized after sustaining bullet wounds in the incident Monday.

If was unclear if any U.N. soldiers were injured.

Marchers were protesting over rumors that U.N. and French troops were planning to disarm rebels by force in the northern town. Reuters news agency quoted a commander of French troops denying the reports, saying peacekeepers were in Bouake to defend the town.

Also Monday, President Laurent Gbagbo was due to meet with former rebels in Yamoussoukro to discuss plans for disarming nearly 30,000 former combatants.

The plan is set to begin this week, after repeated delays.