A senior loyalist officer has told Associated Foreign Press that armed members of the Movement for Democracy in Liberia, or MODEL, launched an attack against regular troops near Van’s Town.

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An area 10 kilometres further east of the main road.

Soldiers had to try to reassure civilians from nearby hamlets as several hundred attempted to flee the violence.

It’s not known if there were casualties.

There has been sporadic fighting since the Liberian Government and the two main rebel movements, MODEL and Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, or LURD, signed an accord ending almost 14 years of civil war.

Liberian army deputy chief of staff General Benjamin Yeaten has confirmed the attacks.

Peace-keepers from ECOMIL, which comes under the umbrella of the Economic Communisty of West African States (ECOWAS), are expected to move into Buchanan next week.

Buchanan is Liberia’s second largest seaport and has been under MODEL control since July 28.

Meantime doctors in rebel-held territory are struggling to treat casualties without adequate drugs and equipment.

Tubmanburg, 60 kilometres from Monrovia, used by rebels to launch attacks on the capital has been wrecked by fighting and looting.

Aid workers, who began returning to the area after this week’s peace deal, say the task ahead is daunting.

The United States also has 200 troops in Liberia, including a 150-strong rapid reaction contingent, to help ECOMIL secure Monrovia’s port and airport for emergency food aid deliveries.

Of the total 3,000 to 3,500 ECOMIL troops due to deploy in Liberia, so far less than 1,000 have arrived so far.

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