Gunmen attack police commissioner’s home

 

Keiso Mohloboli


Breaking_newsThe Ha Abia home of Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Commissioner, Khothatso Tšooana was attacked this morning by gunmen, who were allegedly in three Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) vehicles.

The attack, which has been confirmed by LMPS Spokesperson, Lebona Mohloboli, took place at around 2am.

According to Senior Inspector Mohloboli, there was a “serious exchange of fire” between the attackers and Commissioner Tšooana’s LMPS Special Operations Unit (SOU) guards.

Senior Inspector Mohloboli told the Lesotho Times:  “The home of the Commissioner of Police (COMPOL) Khothatso Tšooana in Tšieeng village, Ha Abia, was attacked by men who were driving three cars with Lesotho Defence Force registration numbers. The attack happened at around 2am today, Friday 19 September 2014, and luckily, no one was injured in the assault.

“The three vehicles had LDF plates and were a truck, a sedan and a minibus, and when they arrived at COMPOL Tšooana’s residence, the occupants started shooting at the  SOU guards who were on duty.

“There was a serious gun battle between the attackers and the guards. Because of the serious resistance by the SOU guards, the attackers eventually drove away at speed and investigations are continuing as to the motive of the attack.”

Senior Inspector Mohloboli said the South African Police Service (SAPS) officers, who have been providing security to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and some government officials since the LDF stormed three Maseru police stations on the morning of 30 August 2014, were not among the guards who were on duty at COMPOL Tšooana’s residence. Dr Thabane has since called the 30 August raids on the police stations an attempted coup, and after the premier fled to South Africa on the eve of the attacks, he, has been under SAPS guard since his return home on 3 September.

 

COMPOL Tšooana and Sports Minister Thesele ‘Maseribane, who also fled to South Africa due to the attacks, alongside several other senior government officials, and members of Dr Thabane’s All Basotho Convention (ABC) are also being protected by SAPS officers.

“The SAPS officers are the COMPOL’s bodyguards when he is moving around; they don’t guard his house, so they were not around when the gunmen descended on his home,” Senior Inspector Mohloboli said.

There was no immediate comment from the LDF regarding today’s attack on the COMPOL’s home.

Meanwhile, Friday’s attack comes eight months after the COMPOL’s residence was attacked by unknown gunmen.

The 27 January attack, which happened simultaneously with similar bombings of two Moshoeshoe II homes, is still under investigation by the LMPS and SAPS. No one has been arrested in connection with the assault.

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