Rebels overrun central Liberian military barracks

Report
from Pan African News Agency
Published on 19 Mar 2003
Monrovia, Liberia (PANA) - Rebels of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) have taken the strategic military barracks of Naama in central Liberia, Defence Ministry officials confirmed Wednesday in Monrovia.
LURD, which launched renewed attacks last Saturday, by-passed Liberian government troops' position in Bong County to take the barracks, the officials said.

Assistant Defence Minister for Public Affairs, Philibert Browne, explained, however, the barracks that served the Agriculture and Engineering battalions of the Armed Forces of Liberia, had "long been deserted by government troops."

Browwne said the government was now mobilising troops to proceed to Bong County to halt the rebel LURD imminent advance on the central Liberian city of Gbarnga.

He said the government was keen on regaining territories lost to the rebels "at all cost" before a pending meeting between the two sides in Bamako, Mali next week.

Meanwhile, government Wednesday morning dispatched truckloads of soldiers to central Liberia, where loyalist militiamen are fleeing "heavy artillery bombardments" from the rebels, Browne said.

He declined to give casualty figures on both sides.

Pan African News Agency:
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