UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Toppled Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo has been moved out of the main city Abidjan after he was detained by forces loyal to presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara, a U.N. spokesman said on Tuesday.
Gbagbo had been taken to Ouattara's headquarters at Abdijan's Golf Hotel immediately after his detention at his residence on Monday, but spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters he was no longer there.
He did not give his new location, although U.N. officials had said he would be transferred up north, where the Ouattara support base is concentrated.
Haq said U.N. peacekeepers in Ivory Coast had "helped to move him (Gbagbo) to another place in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) where he will be secure" and were "working with the Ivorian authorities to ensure that he continues to be safe."
In response to a question, Haq said Gbagbo was no longer in Abidjan, but declined to comment further on his whereabouts. He said he believed Gbagbo was accompanied by his wife, Simone, who was detained with him.
Haq said U.N. security people would continue to be with Gbagbo, the former president who clung to power after presidential elections last November that the United Nations said were won by Ouattara. Forces supporting Ouattara have steadily taken over Ivory Coast in recent weeks.
Ouattara has said Gbagbo will be prosecuted in Ivory Coast.
(Reporting by Patrick Worsnip; Editing by Eric Beech)