Liberia has closed its border with Cote d’Ivoire as it pursues 10 men including ex-President Laurent Gbagbo’s youth leader over the killing of UN troops in Cote d’Ivoire, sources said on Sunday.
Liberia has refused to confirm the claim by Abidjan that gunmen who killed seven United Nations peacekeepers, eight civilians and a soldier had come from its territory.
Among the suspects sought is former youth leader Charles Blé Goudé who is also wanted by the new regime in Cote d’Ivoire for post electoral violence that left about 3,000 dead between 2010 and 2011.
Cote d’Ivoire Defence Minister Paul Koffi Koffi said the raid highlighted the need for Ivorian troops to carry out cross-border operations in Liberia to improve security but Monrovia’s government said no such plans were in place.
The United Nations said it was reshuffling some of its several thousand troops deployed in the zone to protect civilians in the border area.
The bodies of its slain Nigerien troops reached Abidjan by late afternoon.
Liberian security agents are said to be combing suspected hideouts along the border with Cote d’Ivoire where Charles Taylor invaded Liberia in 1989.
The former Young Patriot’s leader fled the country in the aftermath of the capture of ex-president Gbagbo and is believed to have been shuttling between Liberia and Ghana.