FIVE suspected bandits linked to killings in Coast Region died at Kahama District Hospital where they were taken for treatment after a fierce fire exchange with police officers.
The deceased had sustained injuries in the shootouts that ensued after they reportedly refused arrest by the law enforcers at Mwamva Street in Kahama town on Saturday.
Shinyanga Regional Police Commander Simon Haule told reporters here yesterday that the suspects were found in illegal possession of Shot Machine Gun (SMG) with 25 rounds of ammunition and two handmade bombs.
According to the police boss, preliminary investigations indicated that they were targeting gold traders in the town."After the fire exchange, the injured bandits were taken to Kahama hospital for treatment but they died later and their bodies are being preserved at the hospital mortuary, pending identification by their families," he said.
He said the police had ambushed the five suspected bandits whose ages range between 25 and 30 years following information from law abiding citizens hinted on their presence in the area.
The suspects however refused to surrender and instead started firing bullets to the police officers who responded as well by firing.
Commander Haule said preliminary investigations show that the suspects have a link to recent criminalities in Tanga, Rufiji, Mkuranga, Kibiti and Dar es Salaam, having killed government officials, police and political leaders in the areas.
Mr Haule commended members of the community for their early reports to the police, saying through the reports the law enforcers were able to intervene and rescue citizens out of the banditry's consequences, sometimes, deadly.
"I urge members of the community to keep this spirit of participatory security measures... once they suspect people they don't understand, let them tip off the police," the RPC implored.