Salone News

Robbers and police shoot at each other in Freetown

12 May 2017 at 03:25 | 1405 views

By Our Correspondent

Robbers in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown are becoming more and more fearless and seem to hold the police in contempt.

As if Wednesday’s confrontation in which some robbers were clubbed to death and shot by both vigilante groups and police was not enough, there was again an attempt by armed men to rob a petrol (gas) filling station in Freetown on Thursday during which the robbers exchanged gunfire with the police as they made their escape.

The questions on the minds of Sierra Leoneans in and out of the country are how did the robbers get their guns since guns are not for sale in Sierra Leone and the fact that you need a special permit for even a hunting rifle and whether the police can really deal with the situation which seems to be getting out of hand.

There are also speculations that these armed robbers were ex-combatants of the rebel groups and militias that ravaged the country during the civil war. Some, it is believed, never handed over their weapons during the UN-supervised disarmament programme in 2002.

There are also fears that these armed robbers would transform themselves into political gangs and cause real havoc during the upcoming elections in 2018.

Here is a very brief video clip of an armed robber shooting at police officers in broad daylight in Freetown Thursday while anxious and frightened civilians watched and yelled at him. He later escaped.