Turkish Cypriot officials have begun dismantling a controversial footbridge in Nicosia in hopes of opening another crossing point through the line dividing the Greek and Turkish communities on Cyprus.

The dispute over the footbridge has blocked the opening of the crossing point on Ledras Street in Nicosia's old city since 2005.

The Greek Cypriots have insisted that the footbridge encroaches on a United Nations zone running through the divided city and they have demanded that the Turkish Cypriots remove the structure.

It remains unclear whether the Greek Cypriots will agree to open the crossing once the bridge is gone because they also have demanded that Turkish troops pull back from the immediate area.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded the island in response to a coup in Nicosia backed by the military government then ion power in Greece.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.