Liberia Rebel Leader Calls for Cease-Fire

AP Wire Service

ACCRA, Ghana – A Liberian rebel group engaged in an all-out battle for the country’s war-torn capital said Tuesday they have ordered their troops to stop fighting.

“Our troops are being told to cease fire,” said Charles Benny, an official with the rebel movement Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, or LURD, currently in nearby Ghana for peace talks.

The call to stop fighting comes the day after a thunderous barrage of shells rained down on the city in the bloodiest fighting in two months.

According to government officials some 600 people were killed in Monday’s fighting. However, aid workers and hospitals gave a lower death toll, saying at least 90 people were confirmed killed, though they expected the death count to rise.

Benny said he welcomed the announcement that Nigerian forces were ready to help lead a West African peacekeeping force in Liberia.

The United States has also been under intense pressure to send troops to Liberia, a nation founded more than a century ago by freed American slaves.