Friday, 8 July 2011

Police arrest 131 suspects after violence

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Ray Naluyaga, The Citizen Bureau Chief

Police in Mwanza City have arrested 131 people in connection with the Tuesday riots by hawkers, that left one person dead and three others injured.

The Mwanza regional police commander, Mr Simon Sirro, told a news conference yesterday that preliminary investigations have revealed that the ammunition used during violent confrontations between the hawkers and law enforcers was that of shotguns normally owned by private individuals and city askaris.

“None of our officers fired a shot; and since victims were not shot by city askaris, our suspicion is that they must have been hit by bullets fired by private individuals who were determined to protect their properties from looters who were out to take advantage of the chaos and rob them,” said Mr Sirro.

The police chief explained that the law allows civilians to own the type of weapons that were used during the incident. These, weapons, he noted, are the same that are used by auxiliary police (militias) such as city askaris.

Mr Sirro had earlier blamed the incident on misunderstandings among the city council officials in areas which hawkers are allowed to go about their business.

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