Three persons were hit by stray bullets when the rifle carried by a policeman on guard duties at the Toende Rural Bank at Zebilla in the Bawku West District accidentally went off on Sunday in the evening.
The three — Ali Atubiga, 20, Savana Siisa, 16, and Issaka Alonga, 39 — who were hit on the right upper shoulder, left arm and left palm, respectively, are on admission at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital.
Constable Edward Antwi, who was in charge of the rifle, is also on admission at the same hospital in critical condition after he was allegedly assaulted by the youth of the area.
Constable Antwi was said to have been hit on the back of the head by the angry youth who launched an attack on him after the incident.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police Alhaji Hamidu Mahama, said the incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 5, 2008.
He said the policeman, while on duty on the bank's premises, mistakenly pressed the trigger of the AK 47 rifle which had already been accidentally cocked.
He said that led to the bullet hitting the victims, all passers-by, adding that subsequently the youth of the area went on the rampage and assaulted the policeman in retaliation.
ACP Mahama said just as he was returning to Bolgatanga after a duty tour of the district, he received a call from Zebilla informing him that some disturbances in the area had led to the injury of three persons.
The Regional Commander said he quickly mobilised the few policemen who were present and moved to Zebilla to help calm the situation.
He said the injured were rushed to the hospital, where they were receiving treatment.
While appealing for calm in the aftermath of the shooting incident, ACP Mahama gave the assurance that there would be thorough investigations to shed light on the incident.