ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) - French forces opened fire Tuesday as protesters massed between the Ivory Coast president's home and an evacuation post for foreigners. A hospital reported seven people were killed and more than 200 wounded.
Earlier, at least four days of confrontations killed at least 20 other people, wounded 700, and shut down cocoa exports from the world's largest producer.
French military officials said they were assessing the events, and refused immediate comment.
The clash took place as thousands of loyalists massed outside the home of President Laurent Gbagbo, next to a hotel that the French have converted into a temporary evacuation center.
Dr. Sie Podipte at Cocody Hospital said the facility was treating more than 200 wounded and that seven people had died.
South African President Thabo Mbeki met with Gbagbo on Tuesday, launching an African effort to rein in chaos that has erupted in this west African nation.
The U.N. Security Council, African Union, European Union and a bloc of West African leaders have all condemned Gbagbo's government in the violence, which began when Ivory Coast warplanes killed nine French peacekeepers and an American aid worker in an airstrike on the rebel-held north.
France, Ivory Coast's former colonial ruler, wiped out the nation's small air force in retaliation, sparking anti-French rampages by mobs of thousands in the fiercely nationalist south.