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Sunday, October 15, 2006


Is Ex-Taylor aide Plotting Attacks in Liberia?

MONROVIA, Liberia (Reuters) -- Liberia's defense minister said Friday an exiled confidant of former president and warlord Charles Taylor was plotting to assassinate top government officials and called for international help tracking him down.

Benjamin Yeaten, Taylor's former chief of staff and one of his most feared fighters, is believed to be armed, somewhere in West Africa and planning to return to Liberia to destabilize it, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai said.

"The government of Liberia has intelligence reports that Benjamin Yeaten is planning to carry out a terrorist attack in Liberia," Samukai told Reuters.

"This is a dangerous man. He is declared wanted by this government. ... He is planning to sneak into the country to carry out the assassination of key government officials," he said, adding Interpol had been asked to help locate Yeaten.

Liberia is slowly recovering from a 1989-2003 civil war, but the conflict spawned a generation of child soldiers, most of whom now lack jobs, and its security is fragile.

Taylor, who started the war with an uprising against then President Samuel Doe in late 1989, is imprisoned in The Hague, Netherlands, awaiting trial for alleged war crimes committed during an intertwined war in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Written by Reuters, distributed by CNN, made available to you by me. :)

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