Incident Summary:

6/17/2000: Members of the Civil Defense Force (CDF) militia, also known as the government-allied Kamajors or Donzos, attacked the village of Yiraia, in Northern province, Sierra Leone. At least 21 villagers were killed in the attack and several house were set on fire or destroyed with rocket-propelled grenades. A CDF commander admitted to the attack, while CDF leaders denied responsibility. The village was the home of a prominent member of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF); the CDF and the RUF were engaged in a series of retaliatory attacks.



Sierra Leone

Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
Yiraia village, 35 miles north of Koidu, Northern province

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Civilians living in Yiraia village
Nationality of Target Sierra Leone
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Grenade
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Weapon Details
Automatic rifles, machetes, rocket-propelled grenades, and fire
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Civil Defense Force (CDF) Unknown
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 21 Fatalities
Total Number of Fatalities 21
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured Unknown
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Sierra Leone; most serious attacks in months UN peacekeepers needed," Africa News, July 24, 2001.
"Human Rights Watch decries civilian killings in Sierra Leone," Agence France-Presse, July 24, 2001.
Christo Johnson, "S.Leone atrocities go on despite peace moves-study," Reuters, July 24, 2001.