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Five Ivorian Soldiers Killed in Abidjan Twin Attacks

Gunmen attacked a police station and an army position in Abidjan Sunday, killing five soldiers, Defense Minister Paul Koffi Koffi told Agence France Presse.

Three members of the armed forces were killed in an attack on a police station in the Yopougon neighborhood and two others died in another attack on a nearby army position moments later, he said.

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I. Coast Painter's Raw Images of Conflict Captivate Art World

Last year, as the battle over the Ivory Coast's presidency raged in Abidjan's streets, Aboudia locked himself in his studio and painted images of mangled bodies, ghostly soldiers and child coffins.

The 28-year-old painter has risen to fame on the global art scene with his raw depictions of the 10-day battle for Abidjan, the climax of the post-election power struggle between presidential rivals Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo.

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Malians Go Back to Work as Regional Leaders Weigh Coup

Businesses reopened and children returned to school Tuesday as Malians heeded a call by the junta to return to work, but the putschists faced further pressure as west African leaders held emergency talks.

The military rulers were trying to restore order as they fought off opprobrium at home and abroad for their ouster of President Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22 in anger over the regime's handling of a northern Tuareg rebellion.

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Lebanese Businessman Dies in Plane Crash in Ivory Coast

Lebanese businessman Nadi Rayyes died in the Ivory Coast on Monday after a private jet he was on board crashed due to poor weather conditions as it was flying from a coastal region to the capital Abidjan.

Lebanon’s Ambassador to the Ivory Coast Ali Ajami stated that the Rayyes owns two publications in Abidjan.

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ICoast Museum Mourns Stolen Artifacts

Bullet holes pock the vault door and empty display boxes litter the showroom floor of Abidjan's Museum of Civilization, robbed of 100 ancient artifacts under the cover of deadly conflict in April.

"A piece of our history has been wiped out," museum director Silvie Memel Kassi laments of the collection's lost crown jewels, some dating back to the 17th century, that may now be melted for the gold.

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Berri Telephones Ahmadinejad: Government Formation Moving at Turtle Pace

Speaker Nabih Berri stated that the government formation in Lebanon is moving at “turtle pace”, noting however that Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati’s recent statements from Baabda are a positive sign that it will be established soon.

He told the daily An Nahar in remarks published on Sunday: “We hope the new government will live up to the Lebanese people’s expectations.”

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Lebanese Expatriates Continue to Arrive From Abidjan

An Middle East Airlines flight arrived from Abidjan at Beirut airport at dawn on Friday with 244 Lebanese expatriates onboard, reported the National News Agency on Friday.

Another flight from Iran’s Mahan Air also arrived from Abidjan with 195 passengers and six children onboard.

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Pietton Confirms Miqati Wants to Form Balanced, Widely Represented Cabinet

France’s Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton discussed with Premier-designate Najib Miqati on Wednesday the latest developments on the new government formation process.

“Miqati is concerned about forming a balanced government,” Pietton said, telling reporters after the meeting that the administrative appointments require a “balanced and a widely represented government.”

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Haitham Joumaa: Abidjan Airport is Secure and Air Traffic Has Returned to Normal

The Director General of the Foreign Ministry and head of the Foreign Ministry delegation to the Ivory Coast Haithan Joumaa meanwhile told the National News Agency from Accra airport that Abidjan airport was now secure.

He said on Tuesday that air traffic has been returned to normal allowing MEA to set up direct flights to the Ivory Coast capital.

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Foreign Ministry Delegation Begins Flying Lebanese Expatriates to Accra ahead of Returning them to Lebanon

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry delegation, headed by foreign ministry director general Haitham Joumaa, began on Saturday evacuating Lebanese expatriates in the Ivory Coast from Abidjan airport to the airport in Ghana’s capital Accra.

Joumaa informed the National News Agency in a telephone call from Abidjan airport that a Boeing 737 has been rented to transport 200 passengers to Accra over a two-phase operation.

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