A stampede at a church gathering in Liberia’s capital Monrovia killed 30 people overnight, the deputy information minister Jarlawah Tonpo told state radio on Thursday.
Commotion reportedly ensued in New Kru Town, just north of Monrovia after some criminals and hooligans in the area attacked the worshipers at the jam-packed crusade with machetes and other deadly weapons, resulting in rush for escape.
Police spokesman Moses Carter confirmed that at least 29 people were killed in the disaster but that the toll was provisional and “may increase”.
The crusade was organised by the More Grace International Ministries headed by Abraham Kromah.
“The doctors said 29 persons died and some are on the critical list,” Jalawah Tonpo said, calling into state radio from a nearby hospital. “This is a sad day for the country,” Tonpo added.
Local reports add that children were among those killed in the Christian prayer gathering, known in Liberia as a “crusade”.
President George Weah is expected to visit the site on Thursday afternoon, his press office said. Weah declared a three-day period of national mourning and said the Liberian Red Cross and Disaster Management Agency had been called in to assist victims.
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