Fear is said to have gripped several Liberians and residents living near the Ivorian Town of Zilebly.
Zilebly, which is located in Western Ivory Coast, is just few kilometers from B'hai Jozon and Nicko Towns in Grand Gedeh County (Liberia).
According to a youth leader of B'hai Jozon Town, Mr. Thomas B. Kollie, the fear is due to a bloody attack on Zilebly by unidentified armed men. At least six people were killed during the attack. Officials say the gunmen stormed the village of Zilebly recently, sparking clashes with security forces. Two soldiers were among the dead.
The fighting prompted residents to flee the area for safety. United Nations Deputy Spokesman Eduardo del Buey condemned the attack and said peacekeepers in the area have been put on high alert and are mobilized in support of Ivorian security forces. "The mission reaffirms its determination to assist the government of Côte d'Ivoire in its efforts to consolidate the country's return to peace," said del Buey.
Western Ivory Coast was the scene of some of the worst bloodshed during the country's post-election crisis in 2010 and 2011, which left an estimated 3,000 people dead.
The region is often targeted by armed groups loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo that operate out of Liberia. The militias are accused of carrying out attacks on villages and troops stationed in the area.
In a chat with The Heritage via mobile phone on Monday, March 18, 2013, Mr. Kollie disclosed that the latest attack has turned B'hai Jozon and surrounding Towns into ghost towns. "We are presently living in fear because we don't know what is really going on over here. "Almost all the civilians in this town ran away because of the incident. We do not really understand the situation here." He further disclosed.
Meanwhile, the youth leader of B'hai Jozon Town used this medium to urge the Government of Liberia (GOL) to increase its manpower at towns and villages along the Liberian/Ivorian borders.