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The Whereabouts Of Thousands Of People Unknown Following Weekend Battle At Toetown, Liberia - 2003-03-04

The whereabouts of more than ten thousand people are unknown following weekend fighting near the Liberian border town of Toetown. Monday, reporters visited the area after the battle between government troops and rebels and reported much of the area deserted.

Delphine Marie is a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, which has a refugee center operating in Toetown since December. Ms. Marie spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the situation near Toetown, Liberia. She says more than 2,500 Ivorians and other nationals have been forced to flee a UNHCR transit camp. The town’s 8,000 residents have fled as well. Some residents of Toetown and Ivorian refugees have shown up in Zwedru, about 80 kilometers south of Toetown.

Fighting broke out in Toetown Friday evening. The Liberian government says the attackers were members of the rebel group, LURD, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy. It also says the rebels were supported by Ivorian fighters.

Click the above links to listen to full De Capua interview with Delphine Marie.