Leader declines to send troops to Ivory Coast
ACCRA, Ghana (AP) -- The president of Ghana on Friday said his country is not able to send troops to oust the leader of Ivory Coast who is unwilling to cede office after losing a presidential election in late November.
The announcement could complicate a move by a regional bloc of 15 nations in West Africa to mount a military intervention in order to allow the internationally recognized winner of the election, Alassane Ouattara, to assume his functions. He and his staff are barricaded inside a hotel, his exits blocked by soldiers loyal to president Laurent Gbagbo.
ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, has twice sent a delegation to try to persuade Gbagbo to step down.
Ghanaian President John Atta Mills said he backs ECOWAS, but said his troops are already committed to other peace missions around the world -- including in Ivory Coast.
17 soldiers killed in pair of attacks
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Suspected al-Qaida fighters killed at least 17 Yemeni soldiers in a pair of ambushes in the country's restive south on Friday, officials said.
Both attacks took place near the town of Lawder in Abyan province, some 155 miles southeast of the capital of Sanaa. In the deadliest strike, gunmen killed 13 soldiers escorting a convoy of water tankers, said the province's deputy governor, Salih al-Shamsi.
In the second attack, gunmen ambushed a convoy carrying the army's brigade commander in Lawder, killing four soldiers and wounding two more, a security official said.