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07.05.2008 General News

Bawku calm, death toll up to five

Bawku calm, death toll up to five
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Bawku, where fighting erupted again on Sunday night in a long-running ethnic dispute between the Kusasis and Mamprusis, is calm after the intervention of security forces.

A 22-hour curfew that runs from 0900 to 0700 hours is holding and the security forces are in control, Interior Minister Kwamena Bartels said.

He added that the death toll had gone up to five with several arrests being made.

Police say residents of Bawku, especially workers, are demanding escort to leave the town which has seen bitter fighting for years.

More than 12 houses have been burnt in the Bawku Municipality since violence erupted in the area on Sunday night.

The security personnel have arrested 32 people in connection with the violence and confiscated five guns and ammunition, Mr Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, Upper East Regional Police Commander, told the Ghana News Agency in Bawku.

He said security personnel had intensified surveillance and the situation had been brought under control as at 1400 hours on Monday.

The Police Commander said the security personnel were doing their best to contain the unending Kusassi-Mamprusi conflict.

Mr Daniel Nar-ire, Deputy Coordinating Director of the Bawku Municipal Assembly, told the GNA that the violence started on Sunday night at about 1900 hours when some people attacked worshippers at a mosque, shooting a Kusasi opinion leader who died while being sent to Bolgatanga Hospital.

He said the security personnel could not cover the entire place at the same time and people at suburbs that were not covered at a particular time continued to fight until the security brought the situation under control but this lasted just for a while and resumed again immediately the security personnel moved to other areas.

"However, the security has been reinforced with personnel from Tamale,” he said.

The curfew affects Bawku Municipality, Zabzugu, Binduri, Pusiga, Zoosi and their environs and the ban on all persons in the areas from carrying arms, ammunitions or any offensive weapon is still in force. Any person found with any arms or ammunition would be arrested and prosecuted.

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