THE Police on Wednesday night gunned down 13 suspected gangsters behind the spate of killings in Coast region's Kibiti district.
It was a shoot-out between the police and the alleged criminals when the law enforcers approached their camp at Rungungu village forest at around 9pm on Wednesday.
The police move was part of intensified security in the district following the indiscriminate killings of innocent civilians and police officers by unknown criminals. Already, over 40 people have been killed in Coast region's Kibiti, Mkuranga and Rufiji districts since the assassinations started in earnest two years ago.
Most of victims are local leaders and 13 police officers. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Simon Sirro issued a statement yesterday, explaining how the police found out the hideout of the criminals in the district.
IGP Sirro narrated that last Friday, at Chamiwaleni village, Kibiti ward, the Rufiji Regional police arrested Mr Abdallah Mbindimbi, accusing him of dealing in crimes. After questioning him, he admitted the wrongdoings and agreed to accord the police full cooperation to show their base.
On Wednesday, the police went with their captive into the forest at Rungungu village where the camp was based. But, upon approaching, the gunmen and police engaged in fierce gunshots at which Mbindimbi was seriously wounded.
During the shootouts, the police gunned down 12 suspected criminals who died on the way to Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) due to profuse bleeding and their bodies have been preserved at the hospital morgue, according to IGP Sirro.
The police have identified seven of the deceased. They are Hassani Njame, Abdallah Mbindimbi, Saidi Kilindo, Abdulshakuru Ubuguyu, Issa Mseketu, Rajabu Thomas and Mohamed Kadude.
The remaining bodies were not identified. IGP Sirro said the police confis cated five Sub-Machine Guns, two anti riot guns, one hand grenade and four tear gas bombs.
"Thorough identification of the recovered weapons indicates that the deceased were involved in crimes at various places," said the IGP, citing the killing of three police officers at Jaribu Mpakani and eight others at Mkengeni as well as two traffic police officers at Bungu "B" in Kibiti district.
Former CCM ward councillor and Street Executive Officer were also gunned down in separate incidents, said the IGP. He however allayed insecurity fears among innocent wananchi, urging them to continue with their activities without fearing anything.
But, he asked residents to cooperate with the police through volunteering information about criminals.