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July 21, 2017

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Liberia slum remains calm amid Ebola outbreak

MONROVIA, Liberia--Calm returned Thursday to a slum in the Liberian capital that was sealed off in the government's attempt to halt the spread of Ebola, a day after clashes erupted between residents and security forces, but now the tens of thousands of residents worried about getting food.

Many residents of West Point, located on a peninsula in the seaside capital, are fearful they'll be cut off from food since many market traders are stuck behind the barricades. Food prices were already rising Wednesday, hours after Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced the impoverished neighborhood was being sealed off by troops and police, with no one allowed to leave or enter.

West Point neighborhood of Monrovia, Richard Kieh, told The Associated Press on Thursday that "the township was quiet last night but what we now need is food."

Kieh said officials had promised to bring in food, but it has not yet arrived, and it was unclear whom it would be for.

Tensions between West Point residents and security forces erupted into clashes Wednesday. A local TV station showed images of three people with injuries from the unrest. A nationwide nighttime curfew, first imposed countrywide in Liberia on Wednesday night, appeared to have been put in place without major incident.

Meanwhile, officials from the World Health Organization were visiting two hospitals in Monrovia on Thursday that are treating Ebola patients. The two treatment centers are struggling to keep up with the influx of patients.

In the United States, Dr. Kent Brantly, who was infected in Liberia, has recovered and was to be discharged from a hospital.

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