Shell of a nation (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, fighters supporting Ivory Coast’s internationally recognized leader Alassane Ouattara reached the capital, driving in on motorbikes with AK-47 assault rifles. They arrived after seizing a dozen towns this week alone, indicating a break in the four-month-long political stalemate. has put together a gallery of life in the troubled country.

The capital of Yamoussoukro almost entirely shut down after reports of the advancing rebels reached the city. Residents reported seeing police and soldiers loyal to incumbent Laurent Gbagbo flee the city earlier in the day, although pockets of resistance remain.

Many have also warned that a final bloody battle over the presidency is sure to take place in the commercial capital of Abidjan.

Ouattara, an economist, is recognized as having fairly won the November presidential election by both Ivory Coast’s electoral commission and the international community. But Gbagbo has refused to give up power.

As many as one million people have fled the fighting caused by political chaos and at least 462 people have been killed since the election.

Fighting fire with fire (Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images)