Several individuals were left injured, and there are concerns about fatalities in Liberia after a vehicle plowed into supporters of President-elect Joseph Boakai.
Authorities have labeled the incident as an “accident,” but Joseph Boakai’s Unity Party (UP) referred to it as a “barbaric act of domestic terrorism.”
This occurrence transpired shortly after Liberia’s electoral commission declared Boakai the victor of the recent presidential election. President George Weah, in his concession speech, urged for unity.
The election was highly contested, with a margin of just over 20,000 votes between the two candidates during the run-off poll.
Monday evening witnessed celebrations among Boakai’s supporters following the official announcement of his victory outside the UP headquarters in Monrovia, the capital city.
Details regarding the timing of the incident vary, but witnesses placed it within two hours after 21:00 local time (21:00 GMT).
According to UP spokesman Mohammed Ali, “[The vehicle] suddenly accelerated and plowed into the supporters.”
The driver reportedly abandoned the vehicle near the party offices and fled the scene. A manhunt has been initiated by the police.
Enraged witnesses set the vehicle ablaze. Reports from eyewitnesses initially suggested a possible brake failure, but the sudden acceleration by the driver raised suspicions of a deliberate attack.
Authorities described the event as an “accidental incident” and urged UP supporters to maintain calmness while investigations are ongoing.
The police reported 16 injuries, with two individuals unconscious and hospitalized. Luther Tarpeh, UP chairman, confirmed two deaths and mentioned that four others are in critical condition.
In an earlier statement, the UP condemned the incident as a “devastating, wicked, and barbaric act of domestic terrorism that resulted in the loss of precious lives.”
The incident unfolded following an election largely deemed peaceful, except for isolated violence in four provinces. The UP announced the cancellation of all celebratory gatherings until further notice.