The Heart Of Darkness

A gruesome rebel offensive has turned Sierra Leone into a bloody hellhole

Freetown is burning. The sky is barely visible through the gray clouds of smoke curling up from the eastern side of the city. The occasional finger of white African sunlight that pokes through the haze falls on piles of dead bodies. The soft sands of Lumley beach, which sits on the north edge of town, are blanketed with dead soldiers, and the tranquil bay that lies between downtown and the airport is an oily, grisly mess, teeming with floating bodies and body parts.

For the better part of two weeks, since the rebel forces of the Revolutionary United Front (R.U.F.) swept...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!