One Killed In Raid On Home Of Police Official
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) _ Gunfire broke out during a raid on the home of an assistant superintendent of police, and one security force member died, the government said today.
The police official was arrested and a cache of weapons was uncovered in the raid on the Freetown home Sunday night, a statement issued by the president’s press secretary said.
Officials declined to comment on whether a coup attempt had been planned.
Both of this West African nation’s vice presidents visited the residence after the raid.
A statement issued by the president’s press secretary said, ″The general public is assured that the situation is under control.″
Arrested were Mohammed Kaikai, who headed Sierra Leone’s special security service until his demotion last year, and his brother, police said. The brother’s name was not made public.
Assistant police commissioner Alfred Dumbuya said rocket launchers, mortars, submachines and camouflage gear were seized at the home.
Witnesses said several men wearing civilian clothes were seen in handcuffs in Kaikai’s residence.
″The government would like to inform the general public about a grave and tragic incident which took place in Freetown last night, involving some citizens of this country,″ said a statement released by President Joseph Saidu Momoh’s press secretary.
The statement added: ″Working on intelligence reports, members of the armed forces moved to No. 42 Waterloo Street last night and arriving at the scene, they were immediately attacked by gun shots from the said premises during which a member of the Special Security Division was shot dead.
″Later, the security forces were able to overcome the attackers and gained access to the premises where they discovered a large quanity of arms and ammunitions which have since been retrieved. A number of the attackers have also been arrested and a full police investigation is now under way.″
Journalists in Freetown said a large police contingent was guarding the building where the arrested men were taken, and patrols continued in front of Kaikai’s home.