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Ivory Coast closes Ghana border

From the CNN Wire Staff
September 22, 2012 -- Updated 1708 GMT (0108 HKT)
Ivory Coast soldiers patrol the the road leading to Ghana on the outskirts of Abidjan on September 21, 2012.
Ivory Coast soldiers patrol the the road leading to Ghana on the outskirts of Abidjan on September 21, 2012.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The attack began Thursday and carried into Friday morning
  • Gunman launched an assault against two police stations and a military post
  • Gunmen fled to Ghana, though not before five were killed, officials said
  • Ivory Coast shares a more than 400-mile border with Ghana

(CNN) -- Ivory Coast has closed its borders with Ghana after a brazen attack against its security forces left eight people dead, the country's defense minister said.

The attack occurred Thursday and carried into Friday morning when gunmen launched an assault against two police stations and a military post in the coastal town of Port-Bouet.

The border town of Noe also was attacked, said Defense Minister Paul Koffi Koffi. Those responsible then fled to Ghana, though not before five of the gunmen were killed, officials said.

Ivory Coast shares a more than 400-mile border with Ghana, where loyalists to former President Laurent Gbagbo have gone into exile.

Ghana President John Dramani Mahama vowed earlier this month not to allow his country to serve as "back base" to destabilize its neighbor.

Last month, three top allies of Gbagbo were arrested in less than a week, raising political tension in the West African country where its army has been hit by weeks of attacks.

Ivory Coast's authorities say Gbagbo's supporters are behind the attacks, intended to destabilize the nation, which is still recovering from a post-election crisis in which more than 3,000 people were killed last year.

Gbagbo is accused of crimes against humanity after he rejected election results and refused to step down when current President Alassane Ouattara was declared the winner in 2010. The standoff sparked months of violence between supporters of both sides.

Journalist Eric Biantuadi contributed to this report

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