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Gun battle leaves two dead


’Marafaele Mohloboli

TWO suspected robbers were on Friday shot dead in a gun battle with police in Ha Ramokoatsi, Mafeteng.

According to police spokesperson, Senior Inspector Clifford Molefe, four gunmen attempted to stop a vehicle with three Chinese nationals on their way to Moshoeshoe I International Airport at around 6am. “However, the Chinese nationals refused to stop their vehicle, and the gunmen immediately shot at the car as it sped off,” he said.

“After managing to elude the armed robbers, the Chinese nationals came across a police road block and reported the crime.”

Senior Inspector Molefe said the police officers and Chinese nationals went back to the scene of the crime to see if they could find the gunmen.

“Upon arriving at the spot, the armed robbers shot at the police who immediately returned fire.

“Two men from Motimposo and Tšenola were shot dead, while two from Tšenola and Ha Tšiu, aged 26 and 31 respectively, were arrested and are in custody,” he said.

Senior Inspector Molefe said police found two 9mm pistols and a Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) identity card which matched the features of one of the assailants at the scene of the crime.

“We are not yet sure whether any of the suspects were serving or former employees of the LDF and cannot divulge any more information until investigations have been wrapped up. However, we are sure that the identity card matched one of the armed robbers,” he said.

Senior Inspector Molefe said the two suspects would appear in court “in due course” facing multiple charges including attempted murder, murder, attempted robbery and unlawful possession of firearms.

On a positive note, he said the Chinese nationals were unharmed and continued with their trip.

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