Cornered in Abidjan as fears grow
These are critical hours for Ivory Coast.
Laurent Gbago - corned in a presidential bunker, his general defecting - has been trying to negotiate his way out of trouble.
His surrender seemed imminent. "I want to live," he told French television.
But over the last few hours, we've heard the boom of heavy artillery in the city, and confirmation that Mr Gbagbo's residence is being stormed.
A negotiated ending might have helped ease tensions in this bitterly divided country. After all, Mr Gbagbo won 46% of the vote in the recent election.
But he seems to have over played a weak hand, and so a more forceful denouement beacons, and with it the real risk of greater instability.
What will his militias do if Mr Gbagbo is killed, or dragged out and humiliated?
Civilians, still trapped in Abidjan, say there has been sporadic gunfire across the city, with pro-Gbagbo militias still on the streets, and Ouattara force's still "mopping up" opposition at several military installations.
Yesterday I drove a few miles through the city suburbs. Small groups of civilians were half trotting along the side of the road arms raised as if in surrender. They were, they said, risking the bullets and the looters to search for water and food.
The stench of dead bodies, littering the sides of the road, is a powerful reminder of the price this city has paid for the "restoration of democracy".
What new horrors will we uncover if and when the city is finally pacified?
A sign of the continuing insecurity - we've just been stopped at a roadblock that we sailed through yesterday - Ouattara's soldiers saying a suburb was no longer safe.