Right: Incumbent Laurent Gbagbo’s “young patriots” cross the river in boats and head towards Abidjan’s city centre
France has sent extra troops to Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan, and taken control of its airport.
A French military spokesman told the BBC there was a security vacuum as forces formerly loyal to incumbent Laurent Gbagbo changed sides.
Fighting continues between Mr Gbagbo’s troops and supporters of his rival, UN-recognised President Alassane Ouattara.
The city’s pro-Gbagbo TV station called for people to mobilise against the French ‘”occupation”.
Mr Ouattara’s forces are reported to be planning a further advance towards the presidential palace and have imposed a curfew on the city.
UN spokesman Hamadoun Toure told the BBC he had heard gunfire near the palace, adding that the situation was very tense.