Africa

Liberia discovers arms cache near Ivory Coast border

Fighters along the Liberia Ivorian border on patrol in April
Image caption Liberian mercenaries were accused of fighting on both sides during the violence in Ivory Coast

A huge cache of arms and ammunition has been uncovered in Liberia near the border with Ivory Coast, police say.

The haul included rocket propelled grenades, machine guns, assault rifles.

A police spokesman said 92 Ivorian refugees were being held for questioning about the weapons.

Liberian mercenaries were accused of fighting on both sides during the violence that followed Ivory Coast's disputed election last November.

Alassane Ouattara won the presidential poll but the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to give up power and had to be removed by force.

The BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh in Liberia's capital, Monrovia, says both countries have expressed concern about the return to Liberia of mercenaries who fought for Mr Gbagbo.

'Bob Marley' arrested

The area in Grand Gedeh county where the arms were found is one of the places where these mercenaries and militias fled after Mr Gbagbo was arrested on 11 April, our reporter says.

The police statement said authorities had uncovered 67 AK-47 rifles, several machine-guns, three rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft steel rockets, as well as lots of ammunition.

Earlier this week, the Liberian police announced that a mercenary commander known by his nom de guerre "Bob Marley" was in custody.

He has been accused by the UN and US-based Human Right Watch of ordering the killing of civilians while fighting for Mr Gbagbo.

The elections in Ivory Coast were meant to draw a line under a 2002-03 civil war which left the country split in two, but it led to a stalemate lasting more than four months.

This week, the Ivorian authorities said they were setting up a national commission to investigate crimes committed during the violence.

Both Mr Ouattara's forces and those loyal to the former president are accused of atrocities.

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