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Liberia Rebel Leader Hurt in Crash

August 18, 1990| Associated Press

MONROVIA, Liberia — Rebel leader Charles Taylor suffered minor injuries in an auto accident, delaying his departure for peace talks with a rival rebel chief and an envoy of President Samuel K. Doe, a rebel official said Friday.

Tom Woewiyu, Taylor's spokesman and defense minister, said the accident occurred as the rebel chief prepared to leave Liberia for talks Monday in Banjul, Gambia, on how to resolve Liberia's eight-month civil war.

The accident was not serious, but Taylor returned to the Firestone rubber plantation clinic for treatment and to arrange new transport, Woewiyu said from Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The plantation is 35 miles southeast of Monrovia.

Woewiyu did not say when Taylor would leave Liberia for Banjul.

The meeting was announced Thursday by Gambian government sources. Word of the talks could lead to further delays in the deployment of a six-nation West African force charged with halting the fighting.

In a related development, U.S. Marines Friday flew about 360 Indian refugees from Liberia to Freetown, capital of neighboring Sierra Leone. A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Freetown told reporters that the Marines had evacuated about 700 people in the past week, mostly foreigners, and would continue evacuating the capital this weekend.

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