National News

2 killed, 36 suspects arrested at Usafi Mosque raid

Government has said that the two suspects killed when security invaded Usafi market mosque were related to the kidnap and subsequent murder of Suzan Magara.

Suzan Magara,28, was working as the administrator for the family businesses as well as a cashier for Bwendo Dairy Farm in Hoima before she was kidnapped in Mengo as she left work to drive home in Lungujja on February 7.

She was held captive for three weeks, before being killed and body dumped in Kitiko Village between Kajjansi and Kigo along the Entebbe Express highway.

On Saturday afternoon,the minister of Internal affairs Gen.Jeje Odong,UPDF spokesperson Brig.Richard Karemire and AIGP Abbas Byakagaba,the police director in charge of counter terrorism addressed a joint press briefing about the operation carried out in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

“Following credible intelligence,one of the key suspects in the murder of the late Suzan Magara run to Usafi mosque in Kisenyi having known that he was being tracked by security agencies,”Gen.Odong said.

He said that as the join security team tried to invade the mosque to arrest the suspect,they were attacked by a group of people originating from the place of worship.

“They attacked our operatives badly injuring one of them prompting our security team to act in self defence and killed two of attackers.”

Subsequently,according to the minister, they forcefully entered the mosque and arrested 36 suspects before 18 women and 94 children were rescued from the mosque.

“The children looked traumatised and scared.”

According to security,a number of items including 60 rounds of ammunition,bows,arrows ,23 pangas and a laptop which have been taken as exhibits.

Put to task to explain why the security agencies didn’t arrest but decided to shoot to kill,the suspects,the minister said they were acting in self defence.

“The death of the two was in self defence and in the heat of the operation.It was not planned,neither was it intended to kill them,”he explained.

On whether the key suspect was killed in the operation, Odong said he had been arrested and would be interrogated to help in further investigations.

On the women and children rescued from the mosque,the Internal Affairs Minister said they were of various nationalities.

“Some of them looked liked Kenyans,Burundians and Rwandese,”he said.

This is not the first time joint security operations have targetted mosques in the country citing involvement in criminal elements operating from the places of worship.

In December, a combined team of police and officers from the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT) raided Nakasero Mosque, ransacked it and arrested 11 people.

The then Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura would later say the raid at Nakasero Mosque was as a result of information revealed by a Muslim suspect in connection to the killing of Maj Muhammad Kiggundu, a Muslim cleric who was gunned down on November 26 ,2016 at Masanafu Trading Centre in Rubaga Division, Kampala.

A week later, Police raided Masjid Abubaker Sudiq located in Kiwatule, a Kampala suburb and arrested 18 people accusing them of being involved in criminal activities and the killings of Muslim clerics. However, police released the suspects later after finding them innocent.

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