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Thursday, 11 May, 2000, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
In pictures: trouble in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a country in crisis, as civilians fleeing a rebel advance flood towards a capital which has itself been terrorised by gunmen, and is soon expected to come under a major attack. The defence is being prepared by UN forces from several different countries and local soldiers and militiamen, with some support from the British armed forces.




Protesters match against the rebel RUF.
Bloodshed came to the capital, Freetown, as demonstrators called for a UN tribunal to try war criminals.

Soldiers and demonstrators
Government soldiers took position outside rebel leader Foday Sankoh's home as the crowd approached.

Injured demonstrator
But Mr Sankoh's gunmen opened fire on the crowd, despite the soldiers' presence, killing four and wounding others.

RUF rebel leader Foday Sankoh
Mr Sankoh was in his house at the time of the shooting, but later disappeared.

Helicopters
British army helicopters flew into Freetown to evacuate EU citizens.

Gunner in helicopter.
They stayed on to provide assistance to UN peacekeepers and Sierra Leonean government forces.

Displaced people
As rebel fighters approached Freetown, civilians fled for the comparative safety of the capital.

Boy with amputated hands
Among them was a nine-year-old boy, Abraham, whose hands were cut off by rebels more than a year ago.

Jordanian troops
Jordanian UN troops guarded the road from Freetown to Waterloo, 15 miles to the north.

Kamajor militia
The Kamajor militia appealed to UN troops for bullets, as officials predicted a pitched battle for Freetown.

















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08 May 00 | Africa
Sierra Leone protesters shot
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