Fighters supporting Ivory Coast's internationally recognized leader seized control of the nation's administrative capital on Wednesday, marking a symbolic victory after months of political chaos sparked when the country's former president refused to step down after an election.
The fall of Yamoussoukro caps a dramatic advance on the city from multiple directions this week by soldiers supporting Alassane Ouattara, but many believe a final bloody battle over the presidency is now destined for the commercial capital of Abidjan, only 143 miles away.
Capt. Leon Alla, a defense spokesman for Ouattara, confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday that "the town of Yamoussoukro is in the hands of the Republican Forces."
Also on Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to demand an immediate end to the escalating violence and impose travel and asset sanctions on Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused to relinquish the presidency, and his inner circle.