Stampede at religious ceremony in Liberia kills 29 | News
MONROVIA, Liberia — At least 29 people in Liberia, including 11 children and a pregnant woman, died in a stampede by worshipers at a Christian ceremony in a densely populated area of the capital, Monrovia, officials said Thursday.
The stampede erupted when a gang of knife-wielding thugs attacked some of the hundreds of people attending the ceremony around 9 p.m. Wednesday, police spokesman Moses Carter told The Associated Press.
One person was arrested, he said.
Rev. Abraham Kromah, who held the ceremony and leads a church in New Georgia’s Monrovia Township, was also questioned about the incident, police said.
The bodies were taken to the morgue at Redemption Hospital near where the incident happened at a beach called New Kru Town.
The Red Cross has erected tents near the site so that families can come with photos to identify the bodies of their loved ones.
Street gangs have become a growing problem in Monrovia and other Liberian cities in recent years, according to residents.
Liberian President George Weah visited the scene on Thursday and declared three days of national mourning.
Going forward, he said there should be regulations on how these ceremonies, which Liberians call crusades, are conducted. The measures, he said, should limit the number of people who can attend depending on the size of the crusade grounds.
Even though “we are all religious,” everyone should be prepared to comply with these regulations for safety reasons, he added.
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