French Peacekeepers Strafed in Ivory Coast; Bush Denies Responsibility



Nov 10 2004 by Ross Bender

President George Bush today denied that he had strafed and bombed French peacekeeping troops in the Ivory Coast this week. The White House had earlier denied that the President personally strafed an elementary school in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey from an F-16 fighter jet.

President Jacques Chirac on Saturday gave orders to shoot down two government jets after the attack on French peacekeepers in the northern Ivorian town of Bouake. The jets were found to be Russian-made Su-25 fighter-bombers. There was no immediate evidence that the American President had been involved in the strikes that killed nine French troops.

Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, who has accused the French of aiding anti-government rebels, did not apologize for the attacks and said through a spokesman that President Chirac could "go [expletive deleted] himself." Al Moustapha Toure, who heads a movement called "I Love Gbagbo" told the French President to "get a grip on yourself, mon vieux!"

Explosions rocked the Ivorian capital of Abidjan on Sunday, as pro-government machete-wielding youths, many of them naked to the waist and wearing the native tutu, marched through the streets. Frenzied mobs were reported to have attacked the French embassy, where paratroopers stood on the roof and insulted the crowds through loudspeakers.

According to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, President Bush is keeping a close eye on the situation and enjoying replays of the videos of attacks on French positions. Ivory Coast is not a major security concern to the United States. However, it is the world's largest cocoa-growing nation, and Bush has expressed some apprehension that his supply of nightly bedtime hot chocolate might be affected.



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