“Don’t kill me!” were the first words that Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo shouted when forces loyal to his rival Alassane Ouattara captured him on Monday, a witness said.
A fighter with Ouattara’s Republican Forces (FRCI) said of Gbagbo’s dramatic capture at the presidential residence in Abidjan.
The fighter said the yard outside the presidential residence had been teeming with landmines and that several FRCI fighters were injured when they stepped on the explosives.
He said the fighters threw tear gas into the residence before a commander entered in search of Gbagbo, who had been sheltering in there with his wife Simone.
“When he found himself face to face with Gbagbo, in front of his desk, the first thing Gbagbo said was ‘Don’t kill me!’,” the witness said. He said Ouattara’s forces put a bullet-proof vest on Gbagbo and the FRCI’s commanders surrounded him “to protect him because some of our fighters wanted to finish him off right away.” Agencies