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General News | May 24, 2004

Ritual Murder Spree In Ashanti

GNA

The security agencies in the Ashanti Region are baffled by the recent spate of ritual murders and kidnappings, which had suddenly reared its head in the region and are wondering if it was a deliberate attempt by persons unknown to crate a state of insecurity and tension in the region prior to the 2004 general elections.

In the last four months, there have been at least four unsolved ritual murders in the Atwima District of the Ashanti Region, which happens to be home district of President Kufour.

This spate of murders had created a stat of fear and panic in the district with farmers afraid to go their farms, thus disrupting district economic and social activity in the district. In the latest incident, a 50-year-old farmer, Kwaku Poku was found murdered on a farm at Mpasatia, near Nkawie last week. And just last Thursday, May 19, two pupils of the State Experimental Scholl at Kumasi wee abducted by persons unknown and the children had still not been found.

According to the food vendors at the school who witnessed the abduction, they heard some school children shouting for help and they saw some men pushing the children into a Pajero vehicle, which sped away.

A telephone conversation with a top security capo in the region revealed that the Atwima District Security Council met last week to discuss the frightening phenomenon. The source stated that the method behind these murders and abductions seems to suggest that it was carefully planned and there could be some linkage with attempt by certain persons to destabilize the Ashanti region for political purposes prior to the elections. He mentioned that in recent times there was an upsurge of robbery intimidation and hooliganism in the region but this was quickly nipped in the bud after the masterminds were identified and arrested.

He noted that the security agencies were aware that there would be serious attempts to create a state of instability and panic on the ruling NPP stronghold prior to the elections to discredit the government and these may be parts of the plan. He hinted that the security agencies already have some potential suspects and would soon move in on them.

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