A spokesman for Ivory Coast’s internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara says forces loyal to him attacked the Abidjan residence of incumbent president Laurent Gbago, early Friday and have taken control of the country’s state television station.
The spokesman said the televison station went off the air Thursday night.
Ouattara forces entered Abidjan earlier Thusday after sweeping across Ivory Coast this week, facing only minor resistance from Mr. Gbagbo’s security.
The United States, the United Nations, former colonial power France and officials with Mr. Ouattara’s government all issued calls for Mr. Gbagbo to step down.
Mr. Gbagbo has resisted pressure to give up power since Mr. Ouattara was declared the winner of last November’s presidential election.
Earlier Thursday, United Nations peacekeepers took control of the Abidjan airport, while France said its peacekeepers are patrolling parts of Abidjan where looting broke out.
South Africa said Mr. Gbagbo’s army chief of staff and his family sought refuge at the Abidjan home of the South African ambassador.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is closely following the situation, and he urged all parties to avoid harming civilians. He reiterated a demand that Mr. Gbagbo immediately cede power.
The United Nations said Thursday that at least 494 people have been killed since the political crisis began in early December. It says up to 1 million people have been displaced, with thousands fleeing west to Liberia or east to Ghana.