Man killed in vehicle ambush in the Caprivi

Man killed in vehicle ambush in the Caprivi

AN emergency meeting was held at the Office of the Prime Minister on Saturday morning after an ambush on vehicles in western Caprivi on Friday.

One person was killed and several others had to flee for their lives after a man, wearing dark glasses, a black jacket and only socks on his feet, shot at two vehicles on the highway between Omega and Chetto. ‘HIGHEST ATTENTION’Prime Minister Nahas Angula said yesterday that the suspect was still at large but the case was receiving the highest attention.He was in contact with President Hifikepunye Pohamba to brief him on the situation.Pohamba is in Gambia attending the Africa Union (AU) summit.Police at Katima Mulilo confirmed the incident.Angula said Walvis Bay resident Mathias Braune was travelling with his family from Katima Mulilo towards Rundu midmorning on Friday when somebody suddenly appeared in the middle of the road.He tried to stop Braune but did not succeed.When Braune drove past him the man opened fire and hit the bakkie’s canopy.Angula said Braune proceeded to Omega but met another vehicle coming from Omega towards Chetto.He stopped and warned the three people travelling in a Toyota Corolla about the attempted ambush.However, Kaleb Semi (25), a friend known as Museke and another unidentified hitch-hiker, a Zambian national, continued on their way.In the meantime, Braune reported the incident to the Police at Omega and returned to the scene only to find that the Toyota Corolla had been attacked.Prime Minister Angula said the car was set alight and the body of the Zambian man was found some 200 metres from it.Semi and Museke fled the scene and were found by the Police at Chetto village.Angula said the Police were still investigating the motive behind the attack.”Police are still in there but the traffic is normal,” Angula said.Braune said the incident happened at 09h30 about 95 km from Divundu.He was approaching a small hill when the man jumped into the road about 200 metres in front of them.Braune told The Namibian that he swerved when he saw that the man was armed and then heard the bullet hitting the car.He accelerated and was approached by two cars about 10 km further down the highway.He stopped and warned them.One vehicle, in which South African tourists were travelling, turned around but the other, a white Corolla, ignored the warning and drove on.Braune said he continued to the Omega Police Station to report the incident and got the Special Field Force to accompany him to the scene.On the way back they found skid marks on the road and the northern side of the road was on fire.Next to the road, the burnt-out wreck of the Corolla was found.They also found one man dead with a bullet in his head and the other passengers gone.The Braunes continued their journey.Yesterday’s meeting in the Office of the Prime Minister, attended by top security agents and politicians, evaluated the situation and Angula informed Pohamba of the latest developments.”For now, it is difficult to say who did it.You cannot rule out attacks from people across the border.We don’t, however, want to speculate,” he said.Phil ya Nangoloh of the National Society for Human Rights said the ambush was done “Unita bandit style”.”Based on the information we have gathered, the dressing and shooting style of the gunmen bear the hallmark of previous similar shootings in the area, which were automatically attributed to so-called Unita bandits” said Ya Nangoloh.Several shootings of that nature occurred during the armed conflict in the north-eastern regions of the country between 1999 and 2002.The most high profile attack was the one on a French family on January 3 2000, when unknown gunmen mercilessly mowed down three children – Michael (18), Aurelie (15) and 10-year-old Cecile Bidoin – in the same area as Friday’s ambush.The children had been killed in cold blood in front of their parents, who had sustained serious injuries.The three were the only children of Brigitte and Claude Bidoin, teachers from the Comoros Islands.The children were killed in one of at least five ambushes on motorists on the highway, in which more than 10 people died.Ya Nangoloh suspected that the latest attack might have been carried out by agents provocateur (French for “inciting agents”) to provoke unrest and violence or create a sense of insecurity in the country.”We are closely monitoring with keen interest media and other allegations that certain groups are concerned about the ‘revival’ of the United Democratic Party, the political party of exiled alleged secessionist leader Mishake Muyongo, in the Caprivi Region”, Ya Nangoloh said.’HIGHEST ATTENTION’ Prime Minister Nahas Angula said yesterday that the suspect was still at large but the case was receiving the highest attention.He was in contact with President Hifikepunye Pohamba to brief him on the situation.Pohamba is in Gambia attending the Africa Union (AU) summit.Police at Katima Mulilo confirmed the incident.Angula said Walvis Bay resident Mathias Braune was travelling with his family from Katima Mulilo towards Rundu midmorning on Friday when somebody suddenly appeared in the middle of the road.He tried to stop Braune but did not succeed.When Braune drove past him the man opened fire and hit the bakkie’s canopy.Angula said Braune proceeded to Omega but met another vehicle coming from Omega towards Chetto.He stopped and warned the three people travelling in a Toyota Corolla about the attempted ambush.However, Kaleb Semi (25), a friend known as Museke and another unidentified hitch-hiker, a Zambian national, continued on their way.In the meantime, Braune reported the incident to the Police at Omega and returned to the scene only to find that the Toyota Corolla had been attacked.Prime Minister Angula said the car was set alight and the body of the Zambian man was found some 200 metres from it.Semi and Museke fled the scene and were found by the Police at Chetto village.Angula said the Police were still investigating the motive behind the attack.”Police are still in there but the traffic is normal,” Angula said.Braune said the incident happened at 09h30 about 95 km from Divundu.He was approaching a small hill when the man jumped into the road about 200 metres in front of them.Braune told The Namibian that he swerved when he saw that the man was armed and then heard the bullet hitting the car.He accelerated and was approached by two cars about 10 km further down the highway.He stopped and warned them.One vehicle, in which South African tourists were travelling, turned around but the other, a white Corolla, ignored the warning and drove on.Braune said he continued to the Omega Police Station to report the incident and got the Special Field Force to accompany him to the scene.On the way back they found skid marks on the road and the northern side of the road was on fire.Next to the road, the burnt-out wreck of the Corolla was found.They also found one man dead with a bullet in his head and the other passengers gone.The Braunes continued their journey.Yesterday’s meeting in the Office of the Prime Minister, attended by top security agents and politicians, evaluated the situation and Angula informed Pohamba of the latest developments.”For now, it is difficult to say who did it.You cannot rule out attacks from people across the border.We don’t, however, want to speculate,” he said.Phil ya Nangoloh of the National Society for Human Rights said the ambush was done “Unita bandit style”.”Based on the information we have gathered, the dressing and shooting style of the gunmen bear the hallmark of previous similar shootings in the area, which were automatically attributed to so-called Unita bandits” said Ya Nangoloh.Several shootings of that nature occurred during the armed conflict in the north-eastern regions of the country between 1999 and 2002.The most high profile attack was the one on a French family on January 3 2000, when unknown gunmen mercilessly mowed down three children – Michael (18), Aurelie (15) and 10-year-old Cecile Bidoin – in the same area as Friday’s ambush.The children had been killed in cold blood in front of their parents, who had sustaine
d serious injuries.The three were the only children of Brigitte and Claude Bidoin, teachers from the Comoros Islands.The children were killed in one of at least five ambushes on motorists on the highway, in which more than 10 people died.Ya Nangoloh suspected that the latest attack might have been carried out by agents provocateur (French for “inciting agents”) to provoke unrest and violence or create a sense of insecurity in the country.”We are closely monitoring with keen interest media and other allegations that certain groups are concerned about the ‘revival’ of the United Democratic Party, the political party of exiled alleged secessionist leader Mishake Muyongo, in the Caprivi Region”, Ya Nangoloh said.

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