Incident Summary:

04/16/2001: Gunmen opened fire on a helicopter carrying the Minister of Youth and Sports, Francois Massaquoi, and supplies as it attempted to land in Voinjama, Liberia. The helicopter escaped the gunfire but the minister was later pronounced dead at a hospital. It was reported that a group calling themselves the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy took responsibility for the attack.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
Near Voinjama, Lofa county

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Assassination
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity Liberian Government
Specific Description Francois Massaquoi, Minister of Youth and Sports
Nationality of Target Liberia
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Unknown
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Weapon Details
The helicopter came under fire as it was attempting to land.
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
Additional Information The Liberian declared a 3-day mourning period for the death of Massaquoi. It also started an official investigation into his killing.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) (suspected) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Unknown)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Liberian Minister confirmed shot dead," Xinhua News Agency, April 17, 2001.
"Liberia declares mourning for Minister killed by rebels," Xinhua News Agency, April 18, 2001.
"Liberia launches probe into minister's killing," Reuters, April 19, 2001.