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April 7, 2011

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A soldier loyal to Ivory Coast's democratically elected president, Alassane Ouattara, sits in a pickup truck alongside a belt of ammunition as he prepares to deploy from a checkpoint serving as a republican forces operating base, at one of the main entrances to Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Days into an offensive aimed at dislodging him from the presidential mansion, Ivory Coast's strongman former president, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to budge from a bunker underneath his home, insisting he would never surrender despite the immense international pressure bearing down on him.

PHOTO: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

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