http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110411/ap_on_re_af/af_ivory_coast

By MARCO CHOWN OVED and SOPHIE TETREL, Associated Press Marco Chown Oved And Sophie Tetrel, Associated Press 23 mins ago

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast – After a week of heavy fighting, forces backing Ivory Coast’s internationally recognized leader on Monday arrested strongman Laurent Gbagbo after he refused to leave the presidency, French diplomats said. He was seen soon after in a hotel guarded by U.N. peacekeepers.

An eyewitness at the Golf Hotel where election winner Alassane Ouattara had been trying to run the presidency said he saw Gbagbo, his wife and son enter the hotel around midday Monday. The witness spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The capture came after French military forces in this former French colony deployed tanks for the first time near a bunker at the presidential residence where Gbagbo had reportedly been hold up with his family.

A senior adviser to Ouattara said French and Ivorian forces captured Gbagbo, but Cmdr. Frederic Daguillon, the French forces spokesman in Abidjan, said French forces were not involved in Gbagbo’s arrest.

“There wasn’t one single French soldier at the residence of Laurent Gbagbo,” he said.

Ouattara’s radio station confirmed Gbagbo’s arrest. Official word first came from the French Embassy in Abidjan.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — The French Embassy in Ivory Coast said strongman Laurent Gbagbo was captured Monday by forces of democratically elected leader Alassane Ouattara.

The move came after an attack by French forces earlier Monday. An embassy official confirmed the detention by phone to an Associated Press reporter in Paris, speaking on condition of anonymity because of government policy.

The United Nations certified results showing Gbagbo lost the November presidential election but Gbagbo, the incumbent, refused to acknowledge defeat. The dispute pushed the world’s largest cocoa producer to the brink of renewed civil war.

Late last month forces backing Ouattara began an offensive to oust him. U.N. and French forces joined the effort last week to force Gbagbo from his bunker in the presidential residence in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s most important city.