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Monrovia Reportedly to be Weapons-Free in 72 Hours - 2003-10-07

United Nations peacekeepers in Liberia say rebels and government forces have agreed to make the capital, Monrovia, a weapons-free zone within 72 hours.

The commander of the U.N. force, General Daniel Opanda, said on Tuesday that his troops will begin city-wide searches to enforce the agreement. Liberia's former combatants have agreed to cooperate.

Last week, rebel and government forces in Monrovia clashed as a rebel leader drove into the city. At least three people were killed in the shoot-out.

Some residents have blamed peacekeepers for the violence, because they did not disarm rebels escorting their leader (Sekou Conneh) into the city.

That same day, the United Nations took over peacekeeping duties from an interim West African-led operation. The U.N. force is expected to grow to more than 15,000 troops.