RealNews

Rebels Close in on Monrovia

Reports from Liberia say rebels advanced to within 10 kilometres (seven miles) of the capital, Monrovia, this week. A BBC correspondent in the city, Jonathan Paye-Layleh, said the government had reported a rebel attack on the town of Ricks Institute, killing several people, but troops had since regained control of the area. News of the advance caused some panic in the capital and security in the capital was increased. Heavy fighting has continued between government forces and the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (Lurd) rebels for control of the town of Gbarnga, 160 km (100 miles) north of the capital. After a fierce battle, government reinforcements backed by artillery took control of the town’s central police station but the situation in the town is still unclear. Our correspondent says that the fact that the Lurd managed to hold such an important town for at least three days, after sending in a 300-strong force on Friday, shows they are a force to be reckoned with. The Lurd have been trying to overthrow the government of President Charles Taylor since 1999. Full Story

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