MONROVIA, LIBERIA, JULY 3 -- The following, transmitted by Reuter, is a pool report filed by journalists in Monrovia.

President Samuel Doe, under siege by rebels, has agreed in principle to resign, political sources said today.

Doe was told to resign by a group of senior officials -- including Vice President Harry Moniba and Speaker of the House Samuel Hill -- who met him today, the sources said. They said Doe agreed to step down on the condition that his safety and that of his minority Krahn tribe are guaranteed. But they said few people believe that rebel leader Charles Taylor would be able to restrain his supporters' desire for vengeance.

Doe, who remained in his official residence, guarded by elite troops, has said he would not relinquish power before his term expires in October 1991.

{In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that the United States had offered to help Doe leave the country, but that Doe had "not asked for our help."

{U.S. officials said they believed Doe's government could collapse within days. The officials, who asked not to be named, said there had been desertions from Doe's elite guard.

{A rebel leader in the United States, Tom Woewiyu, said the insurgents would not oppose a U.S. evacuation of Doe, who has ruled Liberia for a decade. "If they can help him, God bless him. If they can't, we'll get him," Woewiyu said. "If they can send a hook from the heavens to pull him up and take him out, fine, we wouldn't mind that."}

The reports of Doe's willingness to leave came as rebels battled government troops within two miles of Monrovia's port and soldiers terrorized city residents with looting and robberies at gunpoint.

Western military sources said the rebels, who surround the city's landward sides, did not advance today. But fighting continued north of the port and farther west on the road to Sierra Leone near the Hotel Africa. Sounds of those battles could be heard in the city center.

There also was fighting in the suburb of Paynesville, which is within eight miles of Doe's fortified, Israeli-built executive mansion overlooking the Atlantic ocean.

A rebel source in neighboring Ivory Coast said 800 insurgents were involved in attacks on Monrovia on Monday and several thousand more were advancing with heavy artillery. There were no reports of fighting today in Monrovia.

Doe has ruled with the support of his Krahn tribe and a wealthy allied tribe, the Mandingos. The rebel force is dominated by members of the Gio and Mano tribes. During the six-month civil war, soldiers of each side have killed civilians of tribes identified with the other.

Diplomats said rebels had moved past the country's Coca-Cola plant and the U.S. government-run Omega maritime navigational tracking station, both near Paynesville, and were hunting for Mandingos and Krahns. They said rebels demanded that staff at the Omega station hand over Mandingos and Krahns, but went away when the staff refused.

As the rebels have closed in on Monrovia, life has become more difficult for people here. Residents have been without water since Wednesday and without electricity since Friday. Shops remained shuttered. People searched hurriedly for food and water before retreating to their homes.

Diplomats expressed fears for more than 6,000 refugees of the Gio and Mano tribes who had taken refuge from troop reprisals at five churches and at the Japanese ambasssador's residence. A statement from the diplomatic corps demanded that the government halt further abuses of human rights, such as murder of innocent civilians, and end army harassment of refugees at the churches.

Soldiers have been firing shots in the vicinity of the church centers at night and throwing bottles and other missiles into them, the statement said. Three workers at the Saint Peter's Lutheran Church were taken away by soldiers Monday evening to an army base in Paynesville that has been under rebel attack since Monday, according to the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross.

Troops, many drunken or drugged, looted several shops Monday night under cover of a dusk-to-dawn curfew, shopkeepers said. Today, soldiers fired at civilians from commandeered cars and extorted money from passersby.

{The State Department said that the 70 to 80 U.S. Embassy employees were safe and that U.S. officials had contacted rebel leaders, who had expressed a commitment not to harm Americans.}