Liberian Police Open Fire On Ebola Protesters

Tyler Durden's picture

Police in the Liberian capital fired live rounds and tear gas on Wednesday to disperse a stone-throwing crowd trying to break an Ebola quarantine imposed on their neighbourhood. As Reuters reports, at least four people were injured in clashes with security forces, witnesses said, though it was unclear whether anyone was wounded by the gunfire. Liberian authorities introduced a nationwide curfew on Tuesday and put the West Point neighbourhood under quarantine to curb the spread of the disease. "The soldiers are using live rounds," said army spokesman Dessaline Allison, adding: "The soldiers applied the rules of engagement. They did not fire on peaceful citizens." Locals are angry, "I don't have any food and we're scared," screamed one, adding, "it is inhumane."


As Reuters reports,

Police in the Liberian capital fired live rounds and tear gas on Wednesday to disperse a stone-throwing crowd trying to break an Ebola quarantine imposed on their neighbourhood, as the death toll from the epidemic in West Africa hit 1,350.

 

 

In the sprawling oceanfront West Point neighbourhood of Monrovia, at least four people were injured in clashes with security forces, witnesses said. It was unclear whether anyone was wounded by the gunfire, though a Reuters photographer saw a young boy with his leg largely severed just above the ankle.

 


 

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

 

 

"The soldiers are using live rounds," said army spokesman Dessaline Allison, adding: "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."

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

"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," Barry, 45, who works as a money changer, told Reuters.

As RT reports,

Residents of West Point were outraged at the move, protesting, throwing stones and shouting at police. Witnesses also stated that the violence began after the security forces blocked roads to the neighborhood with tables, chairs and barbed wire. Locals told Al Jazeera they hadn’t been warned.

 

 

"I don't have any food and we're scared," Alpha Barry, a local who has four children under age 13, said.

"It is inhumane," resident Patrick Wesseh told AFP by telephone.

"They can't suddenly lock us up without any warning, how are our children going to eat?" he added.

On Saturday, youths with clubs stormed an Ebola medical facility in West Point.

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The death toll from the spreading virus mounted by 106 in just two days, and constituted 1,350 victims. In Liberia alone, 576 people have died from 972 cases, AFP reported. 

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Scenes are very reminiscent of Ferguson, Missouri 

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  • *SENEGAL CLOSES BORDERS W/GUINEA ON EBOLA CONCERNS, AFP SAYS

In addition, South Africa has imposed travel bans on citizens from Ebola-Hit nations (as Bloomberg reports)

Ban is for all non-South African citizens travelling from high risk countries, unless travel is considered absolutely essential, Dept. of Health says in e- mailed statement. 

 

Ban is for citizens of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone

 

South African citizens wanting to travel to Ebola-hit countries requested to delay travel unless absolutely essential

 

South Africans returning from these countries to be subject to more stricter screening process