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04.02.2009 General News

Robbers in shootout with police

A gun battle between a gang of four armed robbers and a police patrol team at Manhyia in Kumasi last Sunday morning led to one of the robbers dying from gunshot wounds.

The others escaped and the police have mounted a search for them.

Fearing a situation where innocent residents could be hit by stray bullets, the police had to cease firing, enabling the armed robbers to escape.

The bullet-ridden body of the deceased, who is yet to be identified, has been deposited at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATR) morgue for autopsy.

Lance Corporal Godwin A. Ahianyo of the Ashanti Regional Police Public Affairs Unit told the Daily Graphic Yesterday that intensive investigations were already underway to arrest the other suspects.

He said the police suspected that the escaped robbers had sustained gunshot wounds and consequently asked hospitals and clinics to be on the look-out for persons who might seek treatment for wounds of that nature.

According to Lance Corporal Ahinyo, about l2 noon on February 1, this year, the police patrol team was on duty in the Krofofrom area in Kumasi when a young man, in a distressed mood, reported to it that a group of four armed robbers operating in a taxi had robbed him of his mobile phone a few minutes earlier.

Before the team could trace the suspects, more people went to complain about similar attacks by the said robbers.

After fruitless attempts to trace the robbers in the Manhyia area, the team proceeded to an area in Ashanti New Town where they spotted a KIA Avello taxi, with registration number AW 515 Y, parked by the roadside.

The team attempted to draw closer to find out what could be happening in the taxi but before it could get any closer the taxi sped off, raising suspicion.

The police gave the taxi a hot chase for about an hour until they got to an area behind the Manhyia Fire Service Station where the occupants abandoned the taxi and attempted to escape while firing at the police.

The police returned fire and succeeded in hitting one of the gunmen but the other three escaped.

A search in the taxi by the police revealed a locally made pistol, 10 rounds of ammunition, 25 mobile phones and GH¢250.

Lance Corporal Ahianyo advised members of the public not to put their lives in danger by running to crime scenes the way they did during the shoot-out with the robbers, saying, "A stray bullet could hit you to cause your sudden death."