RealNews

Defense Minister: Heavy Fighting on 4 Fronts

Rebels fighting to oust Liberian President Charles Taylor are battling government troops on four fronts, the West African nation’s defense minister said Tuesday. “As I speak to you presently, there is fighting taking place on four different fronts; Tubmanburg, Gba, in and around Zorzor and around the Kolahun area,” Daniel Chea told reporters. Tubmanburg, an iron-ore mining town, is 38 miles north of the capital Monrovia, while Gba is just 24 miles away. Kolahun is in the remote north and Zorzor is near the northern border with Guinea. Chea said the rebels, who call themselves Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, or LURD, intensified their attacks two weeks ago and pushed toward Tubmanburg. He did not give any details of casualties from the recent fighting. Taylor, a former warlord, emerged victorious after a brutal seven-year civil war in the 1990s and was elected president in 1997. Around 200,000 people were killed in the war, which became a byword for brutality with all sides carrying out atrocities. LURD rebels launched their uprising against him in 2000 and earlier this month came to within eight miles of the outskirts of Monrovia. They were pushed back at the key Po River Bridge by government forces. Full Story

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