Liberia, Monrovia — At least 29 people, including 11 children and pregnant women, died in a herd of worshipers during a Christian ritual in a densely populated area of the capital Monrovia, officials said Thursday.
Police spokesman Moses Carter told The Associated Press a crowd accident when a group of knife-armed thugs attacked hundreds of people attending the ceremony around 9 pm Wednesday night. Said.
He said one was arrested. According to police, Rev. Abraham Chroma, who holds the ceremony and runs the church in New Georgia Township, Monrovia, was also brought in to ask questions about the incident.
The corpse was taken to the morgue of Redemption Hospital near the location of the incident in a beach area called Newcle Town.
The Red Cross has built a tent near the site to bring photos to identify the bodies of loved ones in the family.
According to residents, street gangs have become an increasingly problematic city in Monrovia and other Liberia cities in recent years.
Liberia’s President George Weah visited the scene on Thursday and declared a three-day memorial service for the people.
“Advancing,” he said, there should be restrictions on how these rituals, which the Liberians call the Crusaders, are performed. He said measures would need to limit the number of people who could attend based on the size of the Crusaders’ grounds.
“We are all religious people,” he added, but for safety reasons, everyone is willing to comply with these regulations.
By Jonathan Paye-Layleh