LIBREVILLE, GABON, MAY 25 -- Gabonese President Omar Bongo warned today that he would stop at nothing to crush political unrest in this oil-rich West African nation.

"We've had enough. If that {violence} repeats itself, we will go to any length to reestablish order," Bongo said.

But he vowed that the rioting, which broke out a day after he announced he would allow multi-party democracy, would not cause him to renege on his promise. Bongo has ruled this former French colony for 23 years.

France, meanwhile, airlifted 800 French citizens out of Port Gentil, 80 miles southwest of the capital, after widespread looting followed rioting there.

Gabon's official daily, L'Union, said two people were killed in riots that began after the body of an opposition leader was discovered in a Libreville hotel Tuesday. The newspaper said 17 people had been seriously injured.

Bongo said today that the protests had spread too rapidly to be spontaneous, and he accused the French press of misinformation and of encouraging "the fire and bloodshed in Libreville."

Residents confirmed that most public buildings in Port Gentil were badly damaged and that looting there was extensive. Libreville was back to normal today, and most stores were open.

Rioters in Libreville had earlier burned the hotel where the body of Joseph Rendjambe, leader of the Gabonese Progress Party, was found. Police said the death was suspicious, and Rendjambe's supporters charged that Bongo was behind it.

Bongo dismissed the charges, saying, "People are spouting nonsense."