16 killed as gunmen attack Mozambique police

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Updated 07 October 2017
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16 killed as gunmen attack Mozambique police

MAPUTO: Suspected militants attacked a string of police stations in a small town in northern Mozambique killing two policemen but 14 of the gunmen were slain, police said on Saturday.
Police have been slow in releasing details of the attacks which occurred on Thursday and Friday in Mocimboa de Praia.
"We recorded 14 deaths and several bandits were wounded," police spokesman Inacio Dina told AFP. Police said the attacks were coordinated.
Local media said three police stations in the sleepy town, 80 km from natural gas fields, were targeted.
At a news conference on Thursday, Dina suggested the attackers were linked to a homegrown radical sect but gave no details.
Police have so far arrested 10 other gunmen, recovered four firearms and more than 100 rounds of ammunition.
"The motive of the attacks is still unknown," Dina said.
"The way they operated makes us believe that there is a structure behind the group," Dina told AFP, but ruled out any links "between the attackers and external forces".
"There is no evidence that they are members of Al-Shabab or Boko Haram. According to the information gathered, all those captured or killed are Mozambicans," said the police spokesman speaking from the capital Maputo.
A local journalist suggested on social media that the attackers belonged to the virtually unknown group, Swalissuna, which has been in existence for about five years.
"They have specific grievances with the police and aimed the attack at them," tweeted journalist and private media owner Erik Charas.
The attacks lasted two days, until the police dispatched special forces from Pemba, 500 km away.
Armed clashes and assassinations of politicians are not uncommon in Mozambique.
On-and-off clashes have occurred in recent years between government troops and armed militias loyal to opposition party and former rebel movement Renamo.
But a truce unilaterally declared by Renamo in December has been observed with only minor breaches.


Toronto: Bodies and debris scattered over mile-long strip

Updated 24 April 2018
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Toronto: Bodies and debris scattered over mile-long strip

  • At least 10 people have died in the attack officials called “deliberate” but not linked to national security concerns
  • Toronto police have the suspect after a confrontation

TORONTO: The crime scene seems to go on forever, a taped off stretch of street scattered with bodies under orange sheets, urban debris and a pair of abandoned shoes.

Toronto police have arrived, and a suspect is under lock and key, but no one yet knows why the driver of a white rental van spread death and destruction under the warm spring sunshine.

“I heard screaming, yelling. I turned back and saw this truck going that way. He was going in and out, back and forth, zigzagging. He just kept on going,” said 42-year-old Rocco Cignielli.

There was nothing the customer service worker could do. Emergency services were on the scene quickly, but in some cases their efforts were in vain.

At least 10 people have died in the attack officials called “deliberate” but not linked to national security concerns.

“I saw there were people lying on the ground. I saw they were doing heart compression, and I saw two people dying right here in front of me,” Cignielli told AFP, pointing at the bodies.

It was shortly after 1 p.m. (1700 GMT) on a working Monday when the speeding van hit this commercial thoroughfare in a district of high-rise residences in the north of Canada’s biggest city.

A pale but cheery sun shone after a long and grim final winter stretch even by the region’s standards. Many local people were out and about.

Nana Agyeman Badu, a 56-year-old taxi driver, saw the van heading south toward central Toronto, where ministers from the G7 world powers were holding a security conference. Then the van swerved onto the sidewalk.

“I thought maybe he was making a delivery. But I was thinking, ‘Why would he drive in the pedestrian walkway like that?’ Very fast. Then I saw he had already run over some people,” the witness said.

“A lady was walking toward the car close to a bus shelter. The truck pinged the lady through the bus shelter and she fell back and all the broken glass fell onto her,” he added.

“I stopped and ran out to help her. The truck continued going and going and going.”

The truck smashed a yellow fire hydrant, a few newspaper dispensers and there, a bit further, lie a pair of sneakers.

“They belong to a victim,” a police officer said.

Some in a crowd that gathered by the police tape as dozens of rescue vehicles were deployed were dumbfounded. “It is a dangerous crossroads,” one woman suggested.

“Oh, it was no accident,” declared another passerby.