Four armed robbers suspected to be Fulanis from Burkina Faso have killed a sales assistant and a pedestrian at Zebilla in the Bawku West District of the Upper East region.
The robbers, who according to police reports took advantage of an unapproved route between Burkina Faso and the hilly district to unleash the attack on their victims inside the main market in the district capital, were wielding AK 47 assault rifles. The incident saw the robbers make away with over Gh¢200,000 among other unspecified valuables on two unregistered motorcycles and left another sales assistant, Awudu Musah, 30, critically injured.
The deceased sales assistant, Abdulai Yarini, 38, was hit in the abdomen. He died whilst receiving treatment at the Zebilla Government Hospital. The pedestrian, whose name was given as Imoro Hero, 38, was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital after bullets hit him in the chest.
Police suspect an insider
The attack happened around 8:35pm Friday at a provisions store belonging solely to an elderly man (name withheld for security reasons).
Whilst security agencies in the area are hot on the heels of the perpetrators, the Bawku West District Police Command says it suspects the bloody robbery was an inside job.
“We have interrogated the victim who is currently on admission. Information reaching us [indicates] there should be an insider, looking at the quantum of the money. And according to the victim, they usually send their daily sales to the bank [on] three days interval. So, when they (the armed robbers) entered the shop, they demanded the three days sales. So, how can a stranger or an armed robber know that there were three days sales in their (victims’) coffers? There is an insider. This is what our preliminary investigations are revealing. So, we are working towards that and everything looks positive,” the Bawku West District Police Commander, ASP James Ankan, told Starr News.
Terror grips residents
Police arrived at the scene after the gunmen had left the shop, heading towards nearby Burkina Faso on two unregistered motorcycles.
Open gun attack is uncommon in the district. The gory development has sparked a wave of terror particularly among traders in the neighborhood. All shops inside the high-rise building where the attack took place have remained firmly shut since Friday.
A number of merchants in the area have resolved to shut their stores much earlier than the usual time until calm is fully restored. Meanwhile, the police have intensified patrols in the area to curb further attacks.
A resident, Musah Akurugu, told Starr News: “Everyone is scared, especially around the area where it happened, because no one knows those behind it. Right now, soldiers are all over, moving up and down. We are all hiding away. It’s only the armed forces who can find those who did it.”
The bodies of the deceased have been deposited at the morgue of the Zebilla Government Hospital. ASP Ankan disclosed that a pathologist from the Upper East Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga is scheduled to carry out an autopsy on the bodies before they are released to their families for burial.