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Militia Commander Says Liberia's Charles Taylor Ordered Cannibalism


More tales of gruesome practices, including cannibalism, have emerged from the war crimes trial of Liberia's former President Charles Taylor in the Hague.

Joseph "Zigzag" Marzah, who describes himself as Taylor's former death squad commander, testified Thursday that Taylor ordered his fighters to cook and eat the flesh of their slaughtered enemies.

In response to cross-examining from Taylor's attorney, Marzah described in detail how Taylor's fighters would prepare a human being for cooking in a pot.

Marzah described other grisly practices during testimony on Wednesday, saying death squad fighters aimed to terrorize people by displaying body parts, including human heads, at roadblocks.

Taylor is being tried by the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. The former president is accused of orchestrating atrocities during Sierra Leone's civil war, including rape, murder and the conscription of child soldiers. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The 59-year-old Taylor is the first former African head of state to appear before an international war crimes tribunal.

The trial was moved from Sierra Leone to The Hague to reduce the chances of sparking unrest in the west African state or in neighboring Liberia.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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