Following reports Sunday, 7 August of the appearance of strange armed men who fired several rounds in the air in Sasstown, Bomi County, Western Liberia, Superintendent Samuel Brown of Bomi has confirmed that nine unknown gunmen did appear in Sasstown briefly, leaving villagers panicking.
He said the identities of the armed men are yet to be established, but they were spotted by some villagers who had gone on their farm to get cassava. Speaking Tuesday, 9 August on a local radio station via mobile phone Superintendent Brown said he was anxiously waiting to hear from the county Security Council at the district level for feedback on ongoing investigation.
“Some individuals saw these strange nine armed men in Sasstown,” he noted, but said speculation that the armed men were patrolling forest in the county is false and misleading. However, he said Bomi County is calm, and residents were going about their normal businesses.
Brown also disclosed the men are armed with light weapons, which they used to fire in the air, sending citizens panicking and running for their lives. He lamented that such times like these, while people are trying to put their broken pieces together in terms of growth, news of strange armed roaming about should be discouraged by every Liberian.
“Getting into the bush with guns like this will not yield any better fruit for Liberia’s growth,” Superintendent Brown pointed out. The Bomi Superintendent however added that he was not really aware of looting in the area, but admitted there were shooting in that part of the country.
Unknown gunmen opened suppressive fire Sunday in Bomi County, close to the Capital, Monrovia. Eyewitness narrated nine unknown gunmen sporadically fired several rounds of light weapons in a farming area in Sasstown, located on the Monrovia-Bomi Highway.
The shooting took place early Sunday in the Fula Hill community, creating panic among citizens who spent sleepless hours making their way into safety. Fula Hill is a designated farming environment for citizens of Sasstown.
Empty shells were found early Monday morning in the Fula Hill community when our reporter, along with other journalists visited the area. News of the shooting has prompted huge deployment of security forces, including the Armed Forces of Liberia, personnel of the Bureau of Immigration, and the Police Emergency Response Unit in the county.
News of the shooting comes few months after a mysterious vessel docked in neighboring Grand Cape County, as well as the discovery of huge cache of ammunition in Bomi recently – just two months following the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia or UNMIL from Western Liberia.
By Zee Roberts-Editing by Jonathan Browne