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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 11:34 GMT
Liberian aid deaths probe urged
Burnt-out remains of the aid workers' vehicle
The aid workers were inspecting projects in the area

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked the Liberian Government to bring to justice the killers of three aid workers.

A Norwegian and two Liberian employees of a United States-based aid agency were killed after being caught in a rebel ambush near the south-eastern town of Toe earlier this month.

The team had taken a huge sum of money into the region to pay their local staff and inspect ongoing projects there.

Following the ambush, the BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh saw bodies scattered around the remains of the charred vehicle.

Kofi Annan "calls on all parties to the conflict in Liberia to reinforce measures taken to ensure the protection of civilians, including relief workers," said chief UN spokesman Fred Eckhard.

Shelter programmes

The bodies of Emmanuel Sharpolu and Musa Keita, who worked for the Washington-based Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA), were buried in the area because of their advanced state of decomposition, Defence Minister Daniel Chea told reporters.

LIBERIA'S CIVIL WAR
Unstable since 1989
Fighting spread into Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast
UN travel ban, arms embargo on leaders
Hundreds of thousands displaced

ADRA has since confirmed that Kaare Lund, a visiting Norwegian colleague of the men who was travelling with them, was also killed.

ADRA is in the south-eastern region implementing shelter programmes for the UNHCR in addressing the plight of refugees, mostly Ivorians, crossing into Liberia as a result of military hostilities in their country.

A Liberian soldier manning a roadblock on the highway leading to Toe Town claimed that the vehicle in question was stopped and advised against continuing on to Toe Town because of fighting there.

"The driver bulldozed his way through the roadblock" and ended up in the ambush, the soldier said.




SEE ALSO:
Liberian aid workers killed
07 Mar 03 |  Africa
On Liberia's front line
03 Aug 02 |  From Our Own Correspondent
Timeline: Liberia
04 Mar 03 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Liberia
06 Mar 03 |  Country profiles


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