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Rebels claim to have seized Ivory Coast town

Rebels claim to have seized Ivory Coast town

Rebels in Ivory Coast are claiming to have seized a town in the country's volatile west amid a political crisis.
The New Forces rebels said in a statement on their website that they seized Toulepleu on Sunday.
The town near Liberia's border was the scene of heavy fighting on Sunday between forces backing the political rivals who both claim to be Ivory Coast's president. The rebels are backed by the U.N.-recognized president, Alassane Ouattara. Government forces are allied with former president Laurent Gbagbo, who is refusing to leave office.
Officials with a refugee agency on the Liberian side of the border reported hearing loud explosions.
Nearly 400 people have been killed since the disputed Nov. 28 vote and hundreds of thousands have fled.