Diplomats at the British Embassy in the Ivory Coast were evacuated from their building on Saturday after it came under fire from forces loyal to the country's embattled president, Laurent Gbagbo.
United Nations peacekeepers rescued charge d'affaires Colin Wells and his staff after the embassy, which is close to Mr Gbagbo's residence, was besieged by armed militiamen.
"Our staff left the British residence this morning, along with diplomats of other nationalities from neighbouring offices," a Foreign Office spokesman said.
"The diplomatic quarter of the city has been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting, but our staff are safe and well and continuing to work in a more secure part of town."
The violence in the capital's diplomatic quarter came as Mr Gbagbo's forces retook ground across the city, putting themselves within striking distance of the Golf Hotel, the luxury lagoonside residence of his rival for power, Alassane Ouattara.
Alain Le Roy, the UN's chief spokesman, said that Mr Gbagbo used a ceasefire as a ruse to reposition his troops and now had control of the districts of Plateau and Cocody. The two neighbourhoods house the presidential palace and residence, where Mr Gbagbo is holed up in a bunker.
Last week, after days of attempting to remove Mr Gbagbo from his bunker by force, Mr Ouattara said he had ordered a cordon to be thrown up around it and for Mr Gbagbo to be left unil he ran out of food.
He asked for European Union sanctions to be lifted to allow the cocoa trade - the world's largest - to resume, and called for banks to reopen. On Saturday the first commerical flight, an Air France plane bound for Paris, took off from Abidjan airport with hundreds of passengers onboard.
But patrols through Plateau and Cocody made clear that the area was far from secure, with gunfire heard on both sides of the French armoured vehicles moving through the streets as the weekend started.
The UN has upped its air presence in the Ivory Coast as a result, with French Puma transport helicopters and Ukranian MI24 gunships travelling back and forth between the city and the base.
By Saturday, there were 1,500 expatriates remaining at the French military base, most of whom were adamant they would not leave the country. They included five orphans whose parents were killed in the recent violence.
Among those undergoing medical treatment were a three-year-old Ivorian girl who was attacked with a machete in her home, and an Ivorian woman married to a French national who was forced to the ground and had her face stamped on repeatedly by armed raiders.
One 26-year-old German woman, who did not wish to be named, has been living in Ivory Coast for 13 years and had remained locked in her home for two days before seeking rescue on Monday when a thousand-strong mob began to attack her street.
Since arriving at the French military camp, the woman, who works for a transit company, has set up a school for her seven-year-old daughter and other children living on the base.
"On the first day we had 30 children. A lot of the kids have nightmares," she said. "They were doing drawings, and one little boy drew a house with a man breaking in. Another drew a dog that was going to be attacked by a man.
"Everyone is going in circles emotionally here. They say they're all right, then an our later they burst into tears."
A week of fighting has turned Abidjan - long known as the 'Paris of West Africa' - into a war zone, with frequent power cuts and hospitals overwhelmed with wounded. Aid workers estimate 1 million people have been displaced by the fighting, and some 150,000 people have fled the country.
Abidjan remained a ghost town on Saturday, with the few people in the streets seeking food and water or trying to escape before fighting resumed.
Mr Gbagbo, who has refused to cede power to Ouattara despite UN-certified results showing he lost a November election, remains isolated in the bunker where he has sought refuge from a concerted assault by Ouattara's troops.
Only three days ago, his defeat had appeared imminent and talks took place between the two sides. In another sign of Mr Gbagbo regaining influence, his RTI television, silent since fierce fighting broke out in Abidjan this week, came back on air broadcasting an appeal for support.
"The regime of Gbagbo is still in place, a strong mobilisation is required by the population," it said.