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Regional News of Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

We only retaliated after Alavanyo youth started firing – Police

The police are accusing the youth of Alavanyo Dzogbedze of starting the fight that resulted in the death of two residents.

Two young people from the area died, while six persons sustained injuries after they allegedly engaged a military-police team in a gun battle over the weekend.

The Volta Regional Police, Commander DCOP Francis Doku, told the media that the police who had intelligence that some people were massing up weapons in the town dispatched a six-member police team to ascertain the truth.

He said when the team got there, they were outnumbered, and the youth seized three of their handcuffs and an AK-47 rifle.

DCOP Doku said in an attempt by the military to peacefully retrieve the gun and handcuffs, the youth opened fire on them and they retaliated thus leading to the death of the two.

Some youth of Alavanyo Dzogbedze on Monday blocked all major roads in the town in protest of the killing.

The Alavanyo Township has been under curfew for some time now following a protracted chieftaincy dispute and reprisal attacks between people of the town and that of Nkonya.

Below is the full narration of the incident by the Volta Regional Police Commander:

“Yesterday [Sunday] around 1:30 pm, the police got intelligence that some people were massing up arms in the Alavanyo area precisely, Dzogbedze Alavanyo. So we dispatched a team made up six to go and retrieve the illicit arms.”

He said when the team got to Dzogbedze, the youth encircled the police and in a scuffle, they managed to snatch one AK-47 rifle and three handcuffs from the police officers.

He said the youth hit the police officer, whose gun and handcuffs they took, with an object thus making him unconscious.

“In order not to create any further problems, the police retreated quietly back to Ho. On their way, they passed through the divisional headquarters in Hohoe and made a formal complaint. When they left, the Kpando divisional commander felt that he needed to report the incident to the military command operating in the area. On receipt of the information and looking at the security threat that the incident poses, the military command decided to get to Dzogbedze to negotiate with the chief for the release of the weapon and handcuffs.”

DCOP Doku said while the negotiation was ongoing, the youth disconnected electricity supply to the town and also started firing gunshots towards the direction of the military.

The military team he said decided to retreat to their base to forestall further troubles.

Gunshot battle

“While on their way, on the outskirts of town, there were gunshots coming from the forest towards their direction, and they were compelled to repel the attack. So the cross shooting went on for some time, and they left. Later on, we had information that two people had fallen and six were injured.”

The Volta Regional Police Commander said the bodies of those who perished including those injured were sent to the Margaret Marquart Catholic Hospital in Kpando while investigations continue.

“The police visited the scene; the bodies have been taken to Margaret Marquart hospital at Kpando. The six of them who sustained gunshot wounds are receiving treatment at the same hospital. We are going to have a meeting with the leadership of the town to find out exactly what happened,” he added.