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US Again Urges Cease-Fire Observance in Liberia - 2003-06-25

The United States has again appealed to the parties in Liberia's civil conflict to observe the terms of the cease-fire accord they signed June 17 in Ghana. Two Liberian employees of the U.S. embassy were killed Wednesday as fighting spread into the capital, Monrovia.

Officials here said the two embassy workers, a security guard and a gardener, were killed by rocket-propelled grenades fired into an embassy annex in Monrovia that had been taken over by thousands of Liberian civilians seeking refuge from the fighting.

There were other Liberian casualties at the annex, which includes a warehouse and offices. But the nearby U.S. embassy was not hit and no Americans were killed or injured.

A State Department spokeswoman said the United States deeply regrets the senseless loss of life at the compound, and she renewed the U-S call on the Liberian government and rebels to honor the terms of the cease-fire signed in neighboring Ghana last week.

She noted that the accord calls for Liberian President Charles Taylor to yield power to a transitional government and said the United States expects him to step down.