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Two police officers shot dead in east Tanzania

The killing by unknown assailants happened in the Kibiti region where 11 police officers have been slain since March.

Published: 22nd June 2017 08:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd June 2017 01:48 PM   |  A+A-

By AFP

NAIROBI:  Two police officers were shot dead in eastern Tanzania on Wednesday, the latest in a series of attacks against local officials and security officers, state television reported.

The killing by unknown assailants happened in the Kibiti region where 11 police officers have been slain since March.

The murders, and uncertainty over the motive, have spread fear throughout local government in the region.

"Two road security police officers were shot dead during the day", the state-owned Tanzania Broadcasting corporation (TBC) reported.

A local official told AFP on Wednesday, "According to the information we have, it was in broad daylight".

"Men on a motor scooter opened fire on the police officers who were on patrol," before fleeing, the official added.

"We don't know who will be the next victim. Local officials have also been targeted".

Gunmen ambushed and killed eight police officers in April in Kibiti, which is 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of the economic capital Dar es Salaam. 

Since then police have killed four "bandits" believed to have been involved in that attack. The previous month three police officers were killed in Kibiti.

Several local elected officials have also been killed in the region in recent months.

While the assailants have not been identified, they typically use motorcycle taxis to escape after the murders and steal weapons from police officers' bodies.

At a public meeting in the area on Tuesday Tanzanian President John Magufuli issued a strong warning to the perpetrators of the attacks.

"This is not a government you can play with," he said. "There is no religious faith that teaches people to kill."

Some observers have blamed the spate of attacks on Muslim extremists.

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