Liberian opposition leader flees

Monrovia - The Liberian government said on Tuesday it was seeking a prominent opposition leader for questioning after he claimed a state-sponsored "death squad" was targeting him.

Simeon Freeman, leader of Liberia's Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), is believed to have left the country around a week ago following a highly-charged press conference in which he said he was on a list of 10 people "to be eliminated".

Freeman was wanted in connection with his public allegation "that the government has set up a death squad to eliminate some opposition figures", a statement made on government radio station said.

A high-ranking party figure confirmed to AFP that Freeman had left the country fearing for his life.

Freeman had told journalists: "there is a blacklist of critical persons, 10 people, we also heard that I am one of the persons on that list that are supposed to be eliminated".

It was "a plan to get rid of critical people", Freeman said, adding it was aimed at silencing dissenters to give the government free rein.

The government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has faced accusations of nepotism and corruption in a country with an unemployment rate of about 80% and which lacks basics such as water and reliable electricity.

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