(Deletes reference to Abidjan as capital in first paragraph)
WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. Embassy in Ivory Coast was hit by an errant rocket-propelled grenade on Thursday during protests over a disputed presidential election, the U.S. State Department said.
“It does appear that an errant RPG did strike the outer perimeter of the embassy with only slight damage and no injuries,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
Security forces loyal to Ivory Coast incumbent Laurent Gbagbo used live rounds on Thursday to break up protests by supporters of presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s main city, and witnesses said at least four people died. [ID:nLDE6BF0VC]
The violence came amid a growing crisis over the results of the Nov. 28 election in the world’s top cocoa grower.
The United States, the United Nations, African states and France recognize Outtara as the winner. But Gbagbo, who controls state institutions, police and the army, was declared the victor by the country’s highest legal body.
The November vote was intended to heal north-south division created by a 2002-2003 conflict, but instead has raised fears of unrest and a potential return to all-out war.
Reporting by Andrew Quinn; editing by Will Dunham