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12.03.2006 Regional News

Violence between two factions leaves one person dead

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Kumasi, March 12, GNA - Violence, which erupted between a group said to be traders from Bawku and a group of Indian hemp smokers at Alabar in Kumasi on Friday, left one person dead.

The dead has been identified as one Seidu Ingor, a member of the Indian hemp smokers group.

His assailant, named only as Adam is on the run.

The violence also left in its wake the destruction of several motorbikes and bicycles belonging to the Bawku traders, the cost of which runs into several millions of cedis. Eight people whose names were being withheld by the police for security reasons has been arrested in connection with the violence and are in police custody.

Meanwhile, to forestall any more violence and the destruction of property, the Ashanti Regional Police Command, has ordered the temporary closure of all shops in the Alabar area that deal in motorbikes and bicycles since the area was still volatile.

The closure will therefore be in force untill the area is found to be safe enough for business to resume.

Briefing the Press on the incident in Kumasi at the weekend, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Frank Adu Poku, Ashanti Regional Police Commander said, on last Monday night (6th March) , trouble arose between the Bawku traders and Indian hemp smokers at Alabar over a security light.

He said, while the Indian hemp smokers were smoking in the dark, the Bawku traders switched on the light, a situation which infuriated the smokers who went to switch it off.

ACP Adu Poku said the switching on and off the light between the two groups went on for some time and nearly resulted in a fight. The Regional Police Commander said on Tuesday morning therefore, the Sarkin Zongo of Kumasi called the two groups and settled the matter, which brought some calm to the area.

He said, however, that on Friday, trouble flared up again when the Bawku group met Ingor, the deceased, and asked him why his group attacked them.

ACP Adu Poku said before Ingor could answer, Adam one of the Bawku traders who was holding a gun, shot and killed him instantly and fled. He said when Ingor's group got wind of what happened, they launched a counter-attack on the shops of the Bawku traders, looted and burnt a number of motorbikes and bicycles, throwing the whole area into a state of chaos and panic.

The police, he said, were therefore called in and rushed there to maintain law and order and succeeded in arresting about eight people who were being kept in police custody. 12 March 06

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