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Report: Last Of Gbagbo Forces Now Out Of Ivory Coast's Largest City
Three weeks after Laurent Gbagbo was deposed, the Ivory Coast said the last of his fighters have been displaced and President Alassane Quattara now has full control of the country's largest city Abidjan.
Chérif Ousmane, the commander in charge of Wednesday's operation, told Ouattara's TCI television that Yopougon was "the only area that remained, and the entire district is now definitively occupied by us".
The final battles came at a heavy cost. The prime minister, Guillaume Soro, who had visited the scene, told the same TV channel: "I saw streets littered with bodies. At the militia headquarters we saw an improvised cemetery.
"I can imagine the slaughter that took place. I'm still under shock after seeing all these dead, all these bodies."
Bloomberg reports that Quattara's military found a mass grave after Gbagbo's forces fled. Residents told Bloomberg that as they fled, they "looted shops and houses."
Abidjan has been under fire since Quattara won November's run-off vote. Gbagbo refused to hand over power, until U.N. forces intervened, last month.
The Financial Times reports that in addition to the significant death toll, the country has also suffered heavy financial loses. The banking system, one analyst told the Times, was "annihilated." With Quattara now in place, however, the stock exchange that serves the whole of West Africa is set to re-open May 16. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.