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THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo has been charged with four crimes against humanity and taken into custody by the International Criminal Court.

He is the first former head of state charged by the court since it was established in 2002.

A filing posted on the court’s website early Wednesday says Gbagbo is charged with murder, rape, persecution and inhuman acts during violence that erupted after he refused to accept defeat in last year’s presidential election and nearly plunged the country into civil war.

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