Diamond town captured

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The Independent Online
Thousands of people are fleeing the Sierra Leone diamond town of Tongofield after its capture by heavily armed Kamajor hunters in a battle with troops loyal to the military government.

The traditional hunters took the town, a key source of government revenue, on Saturday after a two-week siege. Residents of the town headed for Kenema, the eastern capital, around 12 miles away, according to Diego Thorkilsson, a Red Cross relief co-ordinator. The Kamajor oppose the junta that toppled president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah last May and have launched repeated attacks against the Sierra Leone army and former Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels who rallied to the coup.

- Reuters, Freetown