MONROVIA: Two people died, and at least 20 were wounded when a car rammed into a crowd of supporters of Liberian president-elect Joseph Boakai, police and hospital staff said on Tuesday.
Police did not give a reason for the incident, which occurred on Monday evening, but a spokesperson for Boakai’s Unity Party said they believed it was a deliberate act, AFP reported. The driver managed to escape, according to police.
Sia Wata Camanor, a senior member of staff at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) hospital in the capital, Monrovia, said that two people are dead and one is in critical condition. Twenty others had been wounded. Police were searching hospitals for other victims.
Boakai’s party said the car drove into supporters celebrating outside their headquarters between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm on Monday after Boakai was officially declared the winner of last week’s polls.
Party spokesman Mohammed Ali said that it just picked up with speed and ran into the supporters.
Ali quoted witnesses as saying the driver of the vehicle, which was parked near the celebrating supporters, flashed the headlights, then turned them off and rammed into the crowd.
No Technical Fault in Car
He said it was hard to believe the car had experienced a mechanical failure or that the brakes had failed. Images posted on social media showed bloodied people lying on the ground, some receiving medical aid.
Police official Melvin Sacko said on Monday that sixteen casualties — twelve men and four women — had been taken to the JFK hospital.
Liberia’s electoral commission said on Monday that Boakai had won 50.64% of the vote, against 49.36% for outgoing president George Weah.