Liberia Widens Emergency, Blames Rebels

From: The Washington Post; Contributed by: The Associated Press
© The Washington Post Co.

MONROVIA, Liberia, May 11 -- Liberia has extended a state of emergency on the grounds that rebels have increased attacks across the West African country, a government minister said today.

President Charles Taylor declared the emergency on Feb. 9. Parliament extended it by six months, but it was not clear when the legislature took action. The order authorizes government forces to enter and search homes.

"The war situation for which the condition was imposed has not diminished," Information Minister Reginald Goodridge said. "Instead . . . rebels have stepped up their attacks on major towns across the country."

Defense Minister Daniel Chea said government forces and rebels were fighting in the central town of Gbarnga following what the government said was a rebel attack at dawn Thursday. Chea also reported fighting on the highway north of the town, about 110 miles from the capital, Monrovia. He said there had been injuries among government forces but no one was killed.

AP-WP-Tue. May 11, 2002

© Robert W. Kranz  09-02-2002