A 15-year-old JSS student has been killed and 10 houses set ablaze in renewed violence between the youths of two communities in the Upper East regional capital, Bolgatanga.
The violence between youths from the communities of Bukere and Soe in the municipality also left 10 people with serious injuries after an hour of running battles, before the intervention of a combined police and military personnel.
The injured are on admission at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital. The dead has been identified as Lamisi Apambilla, a JSS 2 pupil.
Briefing the media at Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, said the violence was precipitated by a misunderstanding between the two groups after a playing card competition.
According to Mr Gyeabour, sometime before the last Christmas, the youth of Bukere and Soe were engaged in a playing card competition and during one of such games, a misunderstanding ensued and that the Soe group were alleged to have attacked the Bukere youth.
It was, however, curtailed momentarily, but not completely eliminating the anger.
According to ACP Gyeabour, this flared up again last Sunday when a gentleman from Bukere went to a pito bar at Soe in the morning. While there some people identified him as a leading figure during the misunderstanding in the past incident and decided to 'teach him a lesson'.
Mr Gyeabour said after that incident, the gentleman went back to organise his people from the Bukere area to retaliate and this resulted in another conflict.
ACP Gyeabour said the police and military personnel from the Air Borne Force detachment in Bawku were quickly deployed to the scene to calm the situation.
ACP Gyeabour said while police investigations were going on, they heard that one policeman from Soe who hailed from Tuobodom in the Brong Ahafo Region, identified as Corporal Evans Abolga Asakeyine, and believed to be on interdiction was deeply involved in supporting his group, that is the Bukere youth.
He said eyewitness accounts claimed that the said Corporal, who was now on the run, was wielding a weapon and that he might have caused the unfortunate shoot-out at the scene.
ACP Gyeabour said that the Regional Command was working closely with other related security agencies to invite him for questioning.
He said the police and other security personnel were on the ground and gave the assurance that everything was under control and appealed to members of the general public who had any information in relation to the incident to assist the police in their investigations.
Meanwhile, the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Boniface Gambilla, who is also the Chairman of the Regional Security Committee (REGSEC), and some members of the REGSEC have toured the two towns to assess the extent of damage.
Mr Gambilla, who was also at the Regional Hospital to visit the injured, impressed upon the residents to allow for the due process in the resolution of the dispute.
In a related development, schools in the area have been closed down while the police and military have intensified their patrols in the area.