- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 3, 2002

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) Tens of thousands of angry government loyalists raced down the skyscraper-lined highways of Abidjan yesterday, waving sticks and shouting their rage at rebels advancing steadily south toward Ivory Coast's national commercial hub of Abidjan.
Rebels were reported by U.S. military officials and diplomats to be newly in control of the northwest city of Seguela, 180 miles away. Residents there said rebel forces had entered the day before, attacking the paramilitary police's headquarters and the city courts.
Amid a West African-led peace effort, Ivory Coast's leaders "obviously are doing a lot of talking," said a Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. "And while they are talking, the rebels are making significant gains south."
Ivory Coast's rebels, including a core group of 750 to 800 soldiers dismissed from the army for suspected disloyalty, grabbed the leading northern and central cities of Korhogo and Boauke simultaneously with a bloody failed coup attempt Sept. 19 in Abidjan.
The well-armed, well-disciplined insurgents since have spread north and west, taking towns including Odienne and now Seguela. Their goal is Abidjan, the key to holding a country that remains one of the region's economic powerhouses.

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