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Soldier kills four in rampage

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st June 2006 03:00 AM

TWO policemen, a soldier and a private security guard were yesterday shot dead by a soldier who was a driver of former Army Chief of Staff Brig. Nakibus Lakara. Three other policemen were seriously wounded.

TWO policemen, a soldier and a private security guard were yesterday shot dead by a soldier who was a driver of former Army Chief of Staff Brig. Nakibus Lakara. Three other policemen were seriously wounded.

By Steven Candia And Ronald Humura

TWO policemen, a soldier and a private security guard were yesterday shot dead by a soldier who was a driver of former Army Chief of Staff Brig. Nakibus Lakara. Three other policemen were seriously wounded.

The incident started off at Lakara’s residence in Mutungo zone III village, a city suburb and ended in Mbuya II zone I village, about two kilometers away.

Yesterday’s incident triggered off a massive manhunt for the fugitive soldier. The exercise brought together regular police, the Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU) and military intelligence.

At 4:00am, Cpl. Charles Tamale, who the army said was drunk, first gunned down his colleague Cpl. Abonga at Lakara’s residence. He then fled in Lakara’s official vehicle, a blue Nissan Patrol UG 0001D. Lakara called the police.

While fleeing from Mutungo, Tamale first smashed the vehicle into a shop in Mbuya before he sprayed a pursuing Police truck with bullets, killing two of the six policemen on board.

The police patrol team was heading to Lakara’s residence after his call when they encountered the Nissan at the Mbuya- Mutungo road junction populary known as Kunya.

The Police waved the vehicle down but Tamale drove on on two tyres, two having burst, before losing control and smashing into the roadside shop.

The police patrol Number 7 truck, UP 0524, pulled up besides the crushed Nissan and the soldier opened fire, killing two of
the six policemen on board and wouding three others.

Tamale fled, gunning down a private security guard who confronted him.

Both vehicles were still at the scene early yesterday morning, drawing hordes of curious onlookers. A pensive mood hang over Lakara’s residence yesterday and Lakara, who was seen seated outside talking to visitors, looked disturbed. Lakara is curently facing various charges before the General Court Martial.

Kampala police chief Grace Turyagumanawe who visited the scene together with his CID counterpart Moses Sakira, identified the dead as Cpl. Uchaki, the commander of the car, Police Constable Twinamatsiko, the driver and Ambross Elenyu, the security guard from Swilla Security.

Those injured and admitted at Mulago hospital included policemen Abwon and Kaswamba. A Special Police Constable escaped unscathed.

The patrol truck was stained with clotted blood and riddled with bullets. The sturdy Nissan lay on its belly.

Backed by snifer dogs, dozens of policemen combed the expansive Kinawataka swamp in a futile search for the rogue soldier. They pulled out at midday but Turyagumanawe said the hunt was still on.

“We are carrying out a comprehensive investigation into this incident,” he said and added, “though the search was called off, the hunt is still on.”

Two of Lakara’s bodyguards, he said, had been arrested. The Sergeant was being held at Kakiri where he had turned himself in.
Yesterday evening, the Police recovered a set of army uniform from the swamp believed to be that of the fugitive soldier.

Tragedy struck at Lakara’s residence in the morning just as he was preparing to embark on a long journey to his home village in Kotido to bury his brother.

Army spokesman Maj. Felix Kulayigye, who visited the home, said Tamale was drunk.

Lakara, Kulayigye said, had gone to the First Division army headqaurters on Tuesday to get an extra vehicle and a driver to go for the burial. He was given a double-cabin truck and Cpl. Abonga, a driver to Lt. Col. Lorot, and a Sergeant.

Lakara is said to have returned to his home and briefed his relatives and escorts about the trip, stipulating the departure time as 4:30am.

At about 4:05am, Abonga woke up to find Tamale mocking the Sergeant, his superior. Abonga tried to stop him, prompting Tamale to shoot him dead, Kulayigye said.

Tamale then fled into the yard, shooting indiscriminately, deflating the tyres of two vehicles parked in the compound and shattering the side windows. Several other shots hit the Brigadier’s bedroom window while others punctured holes in the walls.

Tamale opened the main gate, jumped into the Nissan and sped out.

“He was drunk but I think he was using the indiscriminate shooting as covering fire,” Kulayigye said.
Police officers said the patrol truck had kisirani (bad omen), since another driver was shot in it during a robbery a few years ago.

Soldier kills four in rampage

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