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‘Too early to conclude on gunfight at Letsoela residence’

by Lesotho Times
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’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE police yesterday said it was too early to conclude whether or not the shooting incident outside the Naledi home of the army commander, Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela, was linked to rogue soldiers.

Last Thursday, the guards who were on duty at Lt-Gen Letsoela’s residence were involved in a shootout with unidentified men who had initially ignored a call to identify themselves as they walked past the guardroom.

An army statement released last Friday indicates the group of “suspicious looking men” had walked past the guardroom “carrying what looked like heavily laden bags whose contents are still unknown” and this prompted the guards to issue a challenge to them.

Upon being pursued, the men opened fire and injured the guard commander before they fled. The guard commander was initially rushed to Makoanyane Military Hospital before being transferred to Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital where he is said to be recovering.

The shooting incident comes barely seven months after two senior soldiers stormed the Ratjomose Barracks offices of the-then army commander, Lt-Gen Khoantle Motšomotšo, and shot him dead in cold blood on 5 September 2017.

Yesterday, the LDF spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Mashili Mashili, said the police were still investigating the incident.

“We reported the matter to the police and hopefully they are tirelessly investigating,” Lt-Col Mashili said.

Police spokesperson, Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, also said yesterday it was too early to say whether or not the gunmen were rogue soldiers who intended to attack Lt-Gen Letsoela.

“We cannot conclude at this stage if the attack had anything to do with some rogue elements in the army as it is still quite premature,” Supt Mopeli said.

He also said that there was a possibility that the shooting suspects were linked to a robbery that occurred at a shop in the vicinity of the army commander’s residence.

Supt Mopeli said the shop was robbed around the same time that the shooting occurred.

“We have discovered that at around the same time of the shooting, a supermarket was broken into and looted.

“We have also learnt that during the robbery there was a gun shot that could have been intended to scare the security officer and the heavy bags could have contained the loot from the shop. However, we cannot conclude anything as yet,” Supt Mopeli said.

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