Tanzania police kill 13 'criminals' after attacks on officers

2017-08-12 15:59

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Nairobi - Tanzania's police said on Friday they had killed in a firefight 13 "criminals" involved in a series of deadly attacks in the country's east.

The killings took place in the Kibiti district about 100km south of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, where 13 police officers have been slain since March.

"Thirteen criminals were killed during a firefight with police," Tanzania's police force tweeted, adding that they had recovered guns, ammunition and motorcycles from the group.

Tanzanian police chief Simon Sorro later told journalists officers were led to the group by an accomplice they had arrested.

No organisation has claimed responsibility for the police killings in Kibiti, which have spread fear across the region.

The assailants typically steal weapons from police officers' bodies, and escape the scene on motorcycles.

In April, eight officers were killed in Kibiti, and police afterwards claimed they had killed four "bandits" believed to have been involved in the attack, which some observers have blamed on Muslim extremists.

After the killing of two police officers in June, Tanzanian President John Magufuli visited the region and threatened the assailants.

"This is not a government you can play with," he said. "There is no religious faith that teaches people to kill."

Read more on:    john magufuli  |  tanzania  |  east africa

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