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Wed, 13 Jun 2012 11:27 - Updated Wed, 13 Jun 2012 11:27

Ivory Coast says it has uncovered coup plot

Abidjan

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Abidjan - Authorities in Ivory Coast have discovered and prevented a plot to overthrow the government organized by exiled military officers and a close advisor to former President Laurent Gbagbo, the interior minister said late on Tuesday.


The minister, Hamed Bakayoko, said the security services had arrested several participants in the alleged plot and seized documents outlining a plan to topple new President Alassane Ouattara and create a transitional military authority.


During an hour-long interview on national television, Bakayoko played a video recording which he said the plotters had intended to transmit after seizing the headquarters of the broadcaster.


The poorly filmed footage showed several army officers in uniform seated before an Ivorian flag as one of them read a statement announcing the government takeover by a military council.


Bakayoko identified the leader and spokesman of the group as Colonel Kate Gnotua, a former senior officer in Gbagbo's presidential guard.


"All state institutions are hereby dissolved. All political activities are suspended. A curfew has been put in place until further notice ... All land, air and sea borders are closed," Gnotua read out on the video.


The West African nation is gradually recovering from a brief but brutal civil war that ended last year following a disputed 2010 election.