A joint stop-and-search operation by the army and police yesterday afternoon brought chaos to the Maseru Main Bus Stop area.
The operation was largely targeting male pedestrians, and was in response to the recent shootings which have taken place in the area.
The Lesotho Times understands the operation was initially targeting famo gangs whose feuding has killed dozens of artists and their fans, as well as innocent residents, over recent months.
According to sources privy to the operation, the police had allegedly established that the famo gangs were killing their rivals as they visited shacks illegally selling alcohol and food in the Bus Stop area, hence the operation.
Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) spokesperson, Colonel Ntlele Ntoi, said the army had come in to support the police in the operation and would continue doing so until the exercise is complete.
“It is as a result of the police commissioner’s decision that the army’s support was solicited to augment police efforts in searching for illegal firearms used in the shootings which have occurred around the Bus Stop area.
“The army would be working together with the police for a certain period that the soldiers have been given to be present during the operation. At its conclusion, the army would return back to the barracks and let the police continue with their normal policing duties,” said Colonel Ntoi.
For his part, police spokesperson Senior Inspector Clifford Molefe said the joint-operation was all about public safety.
“I cannot reveal more details about the operation at the moment, but suffice to say it was all about public safety,” he said.