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Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade
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Author:  niman [ Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade

Media reports cites shots fired at crowd in West Point as they storm baricade set up as part of quarantine to limit Ebola spread. Photos show wounded protesters.

Author:  niman [ Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade

Clashes Erupt as Liberia Imposes Quarantine to Curb Ebola


MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberia’s halting efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak spreading across parts of West Africa quickly turned violent on Wednesday when angry young men hurled rocks and stormed barbed-wire barricades, trying to break out of a neighborhood here that had been cordoned off by the government.

Soldiers repelled the surging crowd with live rounds, driving hundreds of young men back into the neighborhood, a slum of tens of thousands in Monrovia known as West Point.

One teenager in the crowd, Shakie Kamara, 15, lay on the ground near the barricade, his right leg apparently wounded by a bullet from the melee. “Help me,” pleaded Mr. Kamara, who was barefoot and wore a green Philadelphia Eagles T-shirt.

Lieut. Col. Abraham Kromah, the national police’s head of operations, arrived a few minutes later.

“This is messed up,” he said, looking at the teenager while complaining about the surging crowd. “They injured one of my police officers. That’s not cool. It’s a group of criminals that did this. Look at this child. God in heaven help us.”

The clashes marked a dangerous new chapter in West Africa’s five-month fight against the Ebola epidemic, already the deadliest on record. Outbreaks in neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea have mostly been concentrated in rural areas, but the disease has spread to a major city, Monrovia, the Liberian capital.

Fighting Ebola in an urban area -– particularly in a place like West Point, an extremely poor and often violent place that still bears deep scars from Liberia’s 14-year-long civil war –- presents challenges that the government and international aid organizations have only started grappling with.

The risks that Ebola will spread quickly, and the difficulties in containing it, are multiplied in a dense urban environment, especially one where residents appear increasingly distrustful of the government’s approach to addressing the crisis, experts say.

Many people in West Point were already seething at the government’s attempt to open an Ebola center at a school in their neighborhood, complaining that suspected Ebola patients from other parts of the city were being brought there as well. Their neighborhood, they feared, was effectively being turned into a dumping ground for the disease.

On Saturday, hundreds of people stormed the school, carrying off supplies and allowing suspected Ebola patients to flee the facility, heightening concerns that the disease would spread through the city.

On Wednesday morning, the residents of West Point awoke to learn that their entire area was under government quarantine. Soldiers and police in riot gear blocked roads in and out of the seaside neighborhood. Coast guard officers stopped residents from setting out aboard canoes from West Point, the neighborhood with the highest number of confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola in the capital.

As residents realized that the entire area had been sealed off from the rest of the capital, frustrations began to mount. In one midmorning attempt to break through the cordon, at an entrance to the neighborhood next to an electrical station, soldiers fired in the air to dispel the protesters. But some of the bullets appear to have hit the crowd as well, intensifying the sense of a neighborhood under siege.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/world ... w-bna&_r=0

Author:  niman [ Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade

UPDATE 2-Liberian police fire live bullets to disperse Ebola protest
Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:32pm EDT
* Protesters wanted to break quarantine on poor neighbourhood (Adds casualties, quotes, detail, Congo cases)

By Clair MacDougall and James Harding Giahyue

MONROVIA, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Police in the Liberian capital Monrovia fired live rounds and tear gas on Wednesday to disperse a stone-throwing crowd trying to break out of a quarantine imposed on their neighbourhood because of the Ebola virus, witnesses said.

At least four people were injured in the clash at the sprawling ocean-front West Point neighbourhood, witnesses said. It was unclear whether anyone was wounded by gunfire, though a Reuters photographer saw a young boy with his leg badly severed just above the ankle.

"The soldiers are using live rounds," said army spokesman Dessaline Allison. "The soldiers applied the rules of engagement. They did not fire on peaceful citizens. There will be medical reports if (an injury) was from bullet wounds."

The epidemic of the hemorrhagic disease, which can kill up to 90 percent of those it infects, is ravaging the three small West African states of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and also has a toehold in Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy.

As the Geneva-based World Health Organization rushed to ramp up the global response to the outbreak, including emergency food deliveries to quarantined zones, it announced that deaths had risen to 1,229 as of Aug. 16, out of 2,240 cases.

Liberian authorities introduced a nationwide curfew on Tuesday and put the teeming West Point neighbourhood under quarantine to curb the spread of the disease.

Liberia recorded 53 deaths between Aug. 14 and 16, far more than any other affected country, according to figures by the World Health Organisation.

Attempts to isolate the worst affected areas of the country and neighbouring Sierra Leone have raised fears of unrest in one of the world's poorest regions should communities start to run low on food and medical supplies.

Witnesses said the clash started after security forces blocked roads to West Point early on Wednesday with tables, chairs and barbed wire. Security forces came in to escort the local commissioner out of the neighbourhood, they said.


Residents said they were given no warning of the blockade, which prevented them from getting to work or buying food. The charge is serious given that many people in impoverished parts of Monrovia buy food each day rather than stocking it.

Residents said the closure had immediately caused prices of basic goods, including drinking water, which is sold in sachets, to shoot up.

"We just saw it (the blockade) this morning. We came out and we couldn't go anywhere. I haven't heard from anybody in authority what happened," Alpha Barry, 45, who works as a money changer, told Reuters.

"I don't have any food and we're scared," said Barry, who said he was from Guinea and has four children under 13.

The task authorities face in calibrating its response to Ebola is made harder by misinformation. One West Point resident told Reuters the government had sealed off the neighbourhood in order to bring the disease in.

A crowd at West Point looted a temporary holding centre for suspected Ebola cases at the weekend, 17 of whom fled. All 17 were now accounted for and being treated at another centre, the government said.

Democratic Republic of Congo has sent its health minister and a team of experts to the remote northern Equateur province after several people died there from a disease with Ebola-like symptoms, a local official and a professor said on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear if there was any connection with Ebola. (Additional reporting by Alphonso Toweh and James Harding Giahyue; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Sonya Hepinstall)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/ ... FU20140820

Author:  niman [ Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade

Soldiers spill blood in Liberian Ebola slum as riot breaks out over the quarantine of 50,000 residents
Entire West Point slum quarantined after residents looted Ebola unit there
Liberian President also orders nighttime curfew across the country
West Africa's Ebola outbreak has killed at least 1,229 people so far
Fears grow that the virus has spread to Congo after 10 deaths there
PUBLISHED: 05:36 EST, 20 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:44 EST, 20 August 2014

Liberian soldiers opened fire on residents of a slum in their country's capital city today after it was locked down in an effort to contain the spread of Ebola virus.
People ran screaming as soldiers from the country's Ebola Task Force brutally enforced a quarantine of Monrovia's West Point district ordered by the country's president last night.
As the violence erupted in Liberia, hundreds of miles away a team of experts was meanwhile dispatched to a remote part of of Congo where 10 people died after suffering Ebola like symptoms.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z3Ax7qQUzx
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Author:  niman [ Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade

A Liberian boy reels with pain after apparently being shot during clashes with Liberian security forces in the West Point area of Monrovia which has been placed into quarantine by order of the country's president

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z3Ax8SCX90
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Author:  niman [ Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade

The boy screams in agony: The whole West Point slum has been turned into an open-air isolation ward

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Author:  niman [ Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade

A Liberian Army soldier, part of the Ebola Task Force, swings his truncheon at a fleeing woman

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Author:  niman [ Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade

Residents try to get away from a soldier who looks ready to start firing his rifle into the air at West Point

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Author:  niman [ Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade

A soldier prepares to swing at a youth as others are pushed back by security forces enforcing the quarantine

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Author:  niman [ Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shots Fired Into Crowd At West Point Baricade

The youngster tries to dodge as the soldier swings his club during the crackdown on slum residents

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z3AxBPiZ8g
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