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19.02.2009 Regional News

War In Tamale•1 Dead, Houses Burnt

By Daily Guide
War In Tamale•1 Dead, Houses Burnt

Burnt cars and houses Two days of fighting in the northern regional capital of Tamale has left one person dead, several others injured and over a dozen houses torched.

The deceased, in his early 30s, was identified as Rashid Nasir.

The injured - Yahuza, Fuzzy, Wahab and Awal - are receiving treatment at the Tamale Teaching Hospital having suffered from gunshot and machete wounds.

The fighting, according to sources, started on Tuesday when a certain Inusah Alhassan, popularly called Tiger, was engaged in an argument with a colleague butcher in the central business district over what was not immediately known.

In the ensuing argument, reports said tempers flared and, but for the timely intervention of onlookers, the two would have engaged in fisticuffs.

At the end of the encounter, the two went their separate ways only for Tiger to resurface in the evening with his colleagues from a group called Kandahar from Aboabo, a suburb of Tamale, to settle scores with the other faction, who are also butchers.

The well armed factions immediately engaged in a fight using firearms and machetes which resulted in injury to 7 persons.

Rashid Nasir, who was injured in the lower jaw, bled profusely and was rushed to hospital where he died later.

His death triggered more violence in the city as a section of the youth alleged to be friends of the deceased, went on rampage setting ablaze houses believed to belong to members of the opposing side.

Though they attempted setting ablaze the butcher's shop opposite the Ghana Telecom regional offices, security personnel at the location intervened; but they succeeded in torching a number of houses at Manayili, a suburb of Tamale.

More than 20 houses were razed to the ground while a number of personal belongings were destroyed.

Among the houses destroyed were that of Bawa Baako, the Tamale Municipal Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO). It was the second time Mr Baako's house was being torched.

Three pickups parked in front of Mr. Baako's house, believed to belong to NADMO, were totally burnt.

The vehicles were a Tata with registration number GW 1858, a Fudi pickup with registration number GS 475Y and another Tata with registration number GC 451 Z.

When DAILY GUIDE spoke to him on a mobile phone, he said, “More than 200 youth descended on my house and before we realized what was happening, some of them entered the place. We ran out and they set the house ablaze. I have lost everything. The only things I have left are the dresses I am wearing now.”

At the time of going to press, a combined team of military and police personnel were working to bring the situation under control as some firemen were fighting the fires.

A 62-year-old man, Mohammed Iddrisu, believed to have masterminded the reprisals, was arrested by the Police to assist in investigations.

Tension which had built in the city compelled a number of schools and shops to close down as some residents fled.

The Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has promised to restore calm within the shortest possible time.

From Stephen Zoure, Tamale