According to a report in the Maputo daily “Noticias”, the drama began on Monday night, when a gang of four armed men stole a mini-bus in Boquisso, a neighbourhood in the city of Matola, taking the driver hostage. They then drove into Maputo, and released the driver in the coastal suburb of Costa do Sol.
But the minibus contained an anti-theft tracking device, installed by the company Cartrack. This allowed the police to locate the minibus. When they realized the police were following them, the gang sped off towards Boane.
The thieves opened fire against the police, who fired back. The shootout intensified in Campoane, where the gang abandoned the minibus. Eye-witnesses said the shots, which lasted for about half an hour, caused panic because local residents feared it was an attack by gunmen of the former rebel movement Renamo.
One of the criminals was shot as he left the minibus, while the other was hit in a nearby reedbed. The two other members of the gang managed to escape on foot.
In the stolen minibus the police found one AK-47 assault rifle and three pistols, plus an unspecified amount of ammunition.
According to the spokesperson for the Maputo Provincial Police Command, Joao Machava, this same gang was responsible for the murder of a police office during a raid against a shop in the Matola neighbourhood of Liberdade.Post published in: Africa News