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Report Arrest of Guard Accused Of Trying to Murder Doe

April 4, 1985

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) _ The deputy commander of the presidential guard was arrested today, three days after he was accused of attempting to assassinate Liberian leader Samuel K. Doe, Radio Monrovia said.

It also said three opposition political leaders had been arrested, but gave no reason for their arrest. Doe has promised there will be elections this year in preparation for a return to democracy in January.

The radio gave no details of the arrest of Col. Moses M.D. Flanzamaton, the deputy chief of the guard. On Wednesday the government had announced a reward of $25,000 for information about the alleged attempt on Doe’s life Monday.

The three arrested political leaders were identified as Tuan Wreh, chairman of the Liberia Action Party; Harry Greaves, the party’s vice chairman; and Gabriel Baccus Matthews, the chairman of the United People’s Party.

Wreh, a prominent lawyer, was legal adviser to Doe before he resigned to form his own party and run in the elections.

Greaves was a defense minister in the civilian government of President William Tolbert, who was toppled by Doe in April 1980.

Matthews was a foreign minister under Doe and later became director-general of the Cabinet before forming his own party.

The Liberian News Agency said its account of the assassination attempt came from Doe. It quoted him as saying the attempt took place as he drove his jeep home. Doe was unharmed but two bodyguards in the jeep were wounded, one critically, the agency said.

Doe was quoted as saying that when the jeep reached the second gate at his mansion, Flanzamaton opened fire, raking the side of the jeep with a machine gun. The agency said more than one person was involved in the shooting because there were bullet holes on both sides of the jeep.

Doe was quoted as saying the jeep crashed into a light pole as bullets ripped through the seats.

Liberia, a Pennsylvania-sized country in West Africa, was founded in 1822 by U.S. black freedmen who settled at Monrovia with the aid of colonization societies.

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