ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) -- Rebel troops held two Ivory Coast cities, where residents said mutineers were shooting and handing out guns and uniforms to new recruits Friday -- a day after the government said it quelled a bloody coup attempt.
State-run radio broadcast a statement by hostage Sports Minister Francois Albert Amichia, who was captured Thursday by the renegades in Bouake.
Amichia identified his captors as soldiers whom the government had dismissed in a bid to streamline the army. He said the renegades were asking only to be reintegrated in the armed forces and were ready to negotiate with the government.
Defense Minister Lida Moise Kouassi, speaking on state-run radio and television, said authorities would not to talk to the rebels until they put down their arms.
He said loyalist forces were already gathering in the capital, Yamoussoukro, and would clear out the attackers from the cities they still held if they resisted. The capital was quiet Thursday and Friday.
Paramilitary police said a column of military trucks left the commercial capital, Abidjan, on Friday morning to put down what Kouassi called the "last pockets of resistance" to the north.
"As I told you yesterday, security and tranquility have been totally restored," Kouassi said.
Prime Minister Affi N'Guessan was holding an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss further measures, Kouassi said.
Kouassi said late Thursday the government put down the uprising in which the deposed junta leader and his family were killed after what the government called his attempt to grab power again.
After hours of heavy gunfire and explosions that also left a Cabinet minister and a number of senior military officers dead, the government said Thursday it had regained control over most of the country.
Residents of the central city of Bouake, however, cowered in their homes after the renegades took over police and military bases in the uprising that began before dawn Thursday in at least five cities and towns.
Witnesses said Friday mutineers had disarmed loyalist troops inside the bases and seized their uniforms, which they were handing out to new civilian recruits.
In the northern city of Korhogo, an opposition stronghold, renegade soldiers handed out guns to civilians and cruised the city in commandeered vehicles, firing into the air.
President Laurent Gbagbo was in Rome when the insurrection erupted and cut short his state visit, canceling a papal audience, to return home.
Gbagbo's government has been struggling to calm lingering ethnic and political tension and a restive military since the once-stable country's first-ever coup in 1999.
The insurgents struck the homes of the president and two Cabinet ministers, military barracks and other sites across Abidjan. Interior Minister Emile Boga Doudou was killed, presidential aide Toussaint Alain said in Rome.
Gen. Robert Guei, the former junta chief accused of a role in the uprising, was gunned down when loyalist paramilitary police opened fire on his vehicle in downtown Abidjan after the driver refused to stop, paramilitary police Sgt. Ahossi Aime said.
Paramilitary police also attacked Guei's home, killing his wife, son and grandchildren, two other officers said on condition of anonymity.
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