A court in Ivory Coast has handed down sentences in connection with the 2011 deaths of four people who were kidnapped from the Novotel hotel in Abidjan.

Six defendants received prison terms ranging from six to 20 years for their roles in the attack.

The downtown hotel was a popular spot with foreigners including international journalists who were covering the country's violent post-election dispute in 2010 and 2011.

Witnesses said armed gunmen loyal to ex-President Laurent Gbagbo stormed the hotel and seized four captives, including the hotel's French manager. His body was found in a nearby lagoon.

The attack took place not long before Gbagbo was captured after failing to cede power to current President Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo now faces war crimes charges at The Hague.