Ivorian police on Thursday released 388 supporters of opposition
politician Alassane Ouattara arrested two days earlier outside his home following a clash with policemen who had gone there to deliver a summons.
The Ministry of Security announced the impending release in a statement published on Thursday in the pro-government `Fraternite Matin'. The ministry said President Henri Konan Bedie took the measure in the interest of public peace.
Ouattara's supporters had begun an all-night vigil around his home in Abidjan on Monday out of fear that he would be arrested by police. When policemen arrived there on Tuesday to deliver a letter from the public prosecutor, they were beaten up, the Security Ministry said.
Reinforcements were then sent.
The letter informed Ouattara, leader of the Rassemblement des Republicains (RDR), that he would be questioned on Thursday by police regarding the authenticity of some of his documents.
The documents, offered as proof of his Ivoirian nationality, are being contested by the state which says he is ineligible to run for president because he is not an Ivoirian citizen of Ivoirian parentage.
After he produced documents in an attempt to prove his citizenship and parentage, an investigation was launched by the Justice Ministry to determine whether his papers were authentic.