Mkuranga attacks linked to revenge mission

FRESH revelations behind a wave of wild gun battles involving police officers and bandits unfolded yesterday with sources hinting that it is a calculated revenge mission.

Residents living at Vikindu, Mkuranga in Coast Region, nearly 20 kilometres off the country’s commercial city, Dar es Salaam, had a sleepless Thursday following exchange of fire between detectives and criminals who were hiding in a house.

The atrocious incident which left a high-ranking police officer and several suspected bandits dead sent yet another message that civilians were not the target.

The gun battle, which raged for about six hours, according to a well-placed source, involved heavily trained mobsters who are all out to take revenge.

While the police force is set to issue an official report today, first round information from the scene suggested that several suspects were gunned down while others got arrested.

After the six-hour fierce fire exchange, preliminary reports from Vikindu East local government chairman, Mr Mohamed Maundu, said seven people believed to be members of the family living in the house were arrested.

They included four children, one of whom is two months old, two women and a man.

Neighbours said that the family moved into the house three years ago, but were hardly being seen outside, especially the women. However, according to sources, at least two men could be seen from time to time fetching water.

Sources also said that a child at a school going age never attended classes other than being seen running errands.

Moreover, the suspects were directly linked with Tuesday’s hardhearted incident which occurred in the city leaving four police officers dead.

The Dar es Salaam Special Zone Police Commander, Mr Simon Sirro, told the ‘Daily News on Saturday’ that more details about the incident would be issued today. “We are compiling a report.

Detailed information will be released tomorrow (today), I ask you to remain patient…,” Mr Sirro said.

A source who preferred anonymity told this paper that there was a network of gangs carrying out a secret operation to grab weapons from police officers.

The group is purportedly masterminded by a former Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) officer (name withheld) who was stationed in Zanzibar. According to inside information, the officer was sacked on disciplinary grounds some years back.

“Police have all information. The person who is masterminding this criminal act is already in the police radar, only that he is too slippery and he has no permanent residence in the country,” he stated.

The source affirmed that the ‘most wanted man’ got some advanced trainings outside the country and his name has been featuring in all incidents which involved firearms’ confiscation and killings of law enforcers.

“He is behind Chamazi, Mbagala and Mbande killings and weapons grabbing,” he said.
Coast Regional Commissioner (RC), Evarist Ndikilo, flanked by the Regional Police Commander and District Commissioner toured the suspected bandits’ house asking residents to tip security organs on any suspected criminals.

He pledged to offer 300,000/- to a person who would assist police with information which would later lead the arrest of any culprit.

He said security organs will hunt all suspects behind the killings and ensure that they are apprehended and prosecuted.

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