Zanzibari police arrested three suspects on Sunday (February 17th) in connection to the killing of Catholic priest Father Evaristi Mushi, according to police officials.
The shooting took place at 7:30 am in front of Minara Mwili Church in the Mtoni area of Zanzibar, where Mushi was going to officiate the Sunday mass, Zanzibar police spokesperson Mohamed Muhina told Sabahi.
"Two gunmen on a Vespa [motorbike] proceeded to him and shot him dead," Muhina said.
Later in the day, Inspector General of Police Said Mwema said three suspects were apprehended near the church.
"It is a very bad and saddening incident," Mwema told reporters. "Following this incident and previous ones hurting religious leaders and burning churches, the police force, in collaboration with other security organs, has initiated an intensive investigation in search of these criminals."
Deputy police commissioners Samson Kasala and Peter Kivuyo will be leading the investigation team in Zanzibar.
Mwema said the police would not tolerate individuals who use religious or political differences to drive a wedge between communities and wreak havoc.
He said the attack may have been ordered by al-Qaeda. "We cannot rule out al-Qaeda," he said. "Give us time, we will tell [the public] exactly what we will find after the investigation."
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has given permission for international security agencies to assist in the investigations, said Minister for Home Affairs Emmanuel Nchimbi.