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03.11.2008 Politics

Political violence claims one life

A middle-aged man was shot dead on Saturday night at Sankore in the Asunafo South District of the Brong Ahafo Region following a clash between rival groups alleged to be supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The deceased was identified as Yaw Amponsah, a supporter of the NPP.

Six others, including a four-year-old boy, who sustained various degrees of injury, have been sent to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi for treatment, while the body of Amponsah was deposited at the Goaso Government Hospital.

According to sources, the clash between the two groups was the result of an earlier misunderstanding between Kwaku Okyere of the NPP and Kofi Asare, an NDC supporter, during which Asare was said to have been injured.

In the heat of the clash, a rented house of Asare was alleged, to have been razed.

The police have so far arrested 11 suspects, four of whom were to be sent to the Regional Police Headquarters for further investigations. According to the Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mr Seth Charles Oteng, the suspects would soon be arraigned before court, while the seven others would be screened at the local level.

In an interview, Mr Oteng told the Daily Graphic that the four had been identified as having taken active part in the alleged clash, adding that police reinforcement had been deployed to the area to maintain law and order.

According to the Police Commander, there had been a long-standing misunderstanding between Asare and Okyere following an alleged robbery case, in which Asare was granted bail by a court. However, when the two met in town, a scuffle ensued between them, during which Asare got injured.

ACP Oteng further stated that dissatisfied with the action of Okyere, Asare informed some of his colleague NDC supporters, who also mobilized some deadly weapons, including guns and paraded through the streets of Sankore and finally came across a group of NPP supporters who were seated in front of a shop, where they normally sat to discuss politics.

He said without any provocation, Asare's group shot into the gathering, resulting in the death and injury of the six persons.