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U.N. Troops in Liberia Deploy to Rebel Zone

U.N. troops in Liberia deployed in a zone held by the West African country’s biggest rebel faction on Saturday, two days after being blocked by fighters at a bridge crossing. The deployment is the first by U.N. troops into territory outside the capital held by Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and marks a step forward in bringing peace to a country battered by nearly 14 years of war. Led by Lieutenant-General Daniel Opande, the U.N.’s top soldier in Liberia, and LURD commanders, Pakistani peacekeepers rumbled forward to set up positions at a key road junction 35 km (22 miles) north of the capital in LURD territory. Opande then headed on to the LURD stronghold of Tubmanburg, where the Pakistani troops will eventually be based. He saw a military barracks and a hospital in a town which was LURD’s base for attacks on the capital Monrovia this summer. Full Story

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