Hundreds of youth from the Zongo community thronged the Kumasi Central Mosque, to register their displeasure over the shooting of seven persons who were accused of being robbers.
The seven were believed to be part of eight suspected robbers whose attack led to the death of a Police Officer with the SWAT Unit of the Ashanti Regional Police Command at Ayirebikrom near Manso Nkwanta.
Citi News’ Ashanti Regional correspondent, Lauretta Timah reported that the troubled youth were seen burning car tires in the middle of the roads in the area.
They also blocked all roads leading to and from the Kumasi Central mosque.
She said some armed policemen who came to the scene were beaten mercilessly by some of the youth amidst gunshots.
“The Manhyia Divisional Police Commander, ACP Kwaku Boah who led some of his men in an attempt to speak to the youth peacefully were hurled at with stones from the demonstrators. Another group of the agitating youth was also seen pouring fuel at the Asawase police station in an attempt to burn the police station down,” Lauretta reported.
One of the officers who subsequently spoke to Citi News off the record said the protesters left after he fired shots from his gun.
He also said fire extinguishers from a nearby mechanic shop were used to quench the fire.
Calm has now returned to the community after the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam spoke to the youth.
Identities of deceased persons unconfirmed
Though the police are yet to confirm the identities of the alleged robbers, the Regional Police Command said the operation that led to the killing of the seven was based on intelligence.
Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kwasi Mensah Duku told the press there was a firefight between the alleged robbers and the police after non-violent options failed.
“The police signaled them to stop, but they ignored the signal and started firing at the police. The police also returned fire and in the ensuing exchange of fire, seven unknown, suspected robbers, whose names are yet to be ascertained, died,” he said.
Demand for probe
Some of the bereaved families have not accepted police explanations, and have called for an inquiry into the police’s methods.
“It was made known to us by the Ghana Police that he is an armed robber. But we know he is not an armed robber. The Ghana Police Service has carved a niche of a bad image for itself that it has been killing innocent souls to please their paymaster.”
“Even if he is an armed robber, the right thing you do is to cause his arrest, but the information we picked was that they were just standing there and the police began to fire at them,” one of the bereaved said.
The Chief Executive for the Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly, Alhaji Alidu Seidu, sided with calls for a probe when he spoke to the press.
“The position of the family is my position. Their position is that they should do an in-depth investigation into the matter because we want to know exactly what happened.”
He also called for calm in the area in anticipation of more information from the police.
“I will call on all the youth of the Asokore municipality to remain calm till we hear from the police then we’ll know what to do from there,” Alhaji Alidu Seidu stated.