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Liberia arrests suspects in operations undermining Ivorien govt


HandcuffLIBERIA has arrested three people accused of recruiting fighters for an ambush in neighbouring Ivory Coast earlier this month that left six soldiers dead. The men are suspected of an ongoing recruitment drive among displaced fellow Ivorians in the UN-run PTP refugee camp in southeastern Liberia, where they were.

AFP quoted a security source saying, “Four persons were arrested but one of them escaped. They were arrested in PTP while trying to recruit fighters to go to Ivory Coast and fight there. “This is not their first time coming in to the camp to do such a thing. We have been following their activities for a while now. They have been transferred to the central prison pending investigation and trial.”

At least six soldiers died in attacks targeting security forces in Ivory Coast’s restive west, close to the border with Liberia, on December 2, this year.

Security sources and residents told AFP gunmen had attacked several army positions near the town of Grabo, in an area where ethnic tensions had spilled over into bloodshed numerous times in recent years.

A similar attack in the same area last January in which about 20 unidentified gunmen targeted security forces left two soldiers dead.

A political crisis was ignited by former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to accept election defeat to Alassane Ouattara in 2010, leading to a four-month conflict that claimed some 3,000 lives.

Thousands of Gbagbo’s supporters fled the far west across the porous 700 kilometre border into neighbouring Liberia when he was captured in April 2011.
In the worst incident in June 2012, seven UN troops from Niger, 10 civilians and at least one Ivorian soldier were killed while patrolling villages south of the town of Tai.

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