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127 freed from barracks

Monrovia (Reuter) - Militia gunmen holed up in a barracks yesterday freed 127 people, including 71 foreigners, among thousands trapped there, peace-keepers said.

The African peace-keeping force Ecomog said the releases came after negotiations that also enabled it to take control of central Monrovia after two weeks of militia warfare.

A total of 203 people have now been freed from the barracks, according to an Ecomog statement, where some 10,000 people are being held. The foreigners were mostly West Africans but included 32 Lebanese, five Pakistanis and two Chinese.

The US has announced that it is sending a team of diplomats led by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State William Twaddell will be sent to Liberia to help broker an end to the recent fighting.