Botswana police kill bystanders, armed robbers in shootout

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Botswana police shot and killed three armed robbers and two bystanders during a shootout in Gaborone.
Botswana police shot and killed three armed robbers and two bystanders during a shootout in Gaborone.
Lefty Shivambu, Gallo Images
  • Two bystanders and three armed robbers killed by police officers in Gaborone.
  • The robbers were found with P649 000 (about R811 000) after the robbery of a cash-in-transit van.
  • Last week, four suspected armed robbers cum kidnappers demanded a ransom of P900 000 from the family of a Chinese woman.

Botswana police shot and killed three armed robbers and two bystanders during a shootout in Gaborone on Friday.

The police closed in on the gang after they robbed a G4S vehicle that was operating as a cash-in-transit van.

The robbery occurred at Sefelana Cash and Carry in the capital's West Industrial site.

In a statement, assistant commissioner Dipheko Motube, who heads the Botswana Police Service (BPS) public relations, said: "Three armed robbers were fatally shot in an exchange of fire with members of BPS. Furthermore, two civilian bystanders died in the resultant crossfire."

The police said officers recovered P649 000 (about R811 000) and a pistol with 11 rounds of ammunition.

They also impounded a Toyota RunX suspected to have been used during the commission of the crime.

READ | At least four dead in hotel siege in Somali capital - security agency

The killing of the robbers happened just two days after four Batswana men appeared in the Broadhurst Magistrate's Court for robbery, theft of a motor vehicle and kidnapping.

It is the State's case that the four men robbed shop employees in Gaborone of three cellphones and P1 200 on 13 November.

During the attack, they kidnapped the 31-year-old female Chinese shop owner and demanded a ransom of P900 000 (about R1.112 million).

The family did not pay the ransom and the woman was found dumped in an area near a block of flats.

Gun-related crimes are on the rise in Botswana, while the government has opened submissions of applications for permits to acquire firearms.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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