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The Aftermath Of Fighting In Toetown, Liberia - 2003-03-03

In Liberia, the government today took a group of reporters to Toetown, near the Ivory Coast border. The town, which is over 400 kilometers from Monrovia, was the scene of fighting over the weekend between government troops and rebels. The Taylor Administration says the Liberian rebels were backed by fighters from Ivory Coast.

English to Africa reporter Winston Monboe visited Toetown and spoke to VOA’s Joe De Capua about the rising tensions between Liberia and Ivory Coast. Each side accuses the other of backing insurgents. Monboe says reporters saw eight decomposing bodies, victims of the rebels according to the government. The bodies surrounded a burned vehicle belonging to a Adventist Development Relief Agency, ADRA.

It’s unclear whether the bodies were those of relief workers. Many people between Monrovia and Toetown have armed themselves, saying they cannot wait for the government to provide security. Many Liberian returnees and Ivorian refugees were in the Toetown area. However, reporter Monboe says their whereabouts are unknown. A Liberian government spokesman says the rebels forced them to leave with them. Others say they ran into the bush.

Click the above links to download or listen to conversation between Winston Monboe and VOA's Joe De Capua.