DAR SALAAM: A gunman killed three cops and a personal watchman on a rampage through a diplomatic quarter of Tanzania’s main city Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, before being shot dead while holed up during a guardhouse at the French embassy’s gate.
Videos on the web , apparently filmed by onlookers from buildings across the road from the French embassy, showed the gunman inside the guardhouse.
He exchanged fire at very close range with police and men who seemed to be embassy guards.
Police said the attacker had first shot two cops with a pistol at an intersection within the district, which houses variety of diplomatic missions. He took rifles from the fallen cops , and headed on foot to the French embassy a couple of hundred metres away, firing randomly and occupying the guard house.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Twitter that the attacker had been “neutralised” and “calm has returned”.
“I send my condolences to the police service and therefore the families of three policemen, and one officer of the SGA security company, who lost their lives after an armed person attacked them within the Salenda area of Dar es Salaam,” Hassan said.
Six people were injured additionally to the four who were killed, commissioner of operations and training Liberatus Sabas said during a Tweet shared by the account of the Tanzanian police .
Inspector General of Police Simon Sirro said in an interview aired on local television that police were trying to spot the attacker. While the motive wasn’t yet known, Sirro suggested the attack might be associated with Tanzania’s role in neighbouring Mozambique, where it sent troops this month to assist fight Islamist insurgents as a part of a regional private security force .
“There are problems, our soldiers are there,” Sirro said of Mozambique.
Police official Sabas told reporters it had been too early to mention whether the gunman was a Tanzanian national, or whether he had links to terrorism.
Tanzanian television aired footage showing cops in bullet-proof vests who seemed to be wrapping a body outside the embassy in white material to get rid of it from the scene.
SGA Security, which describes itself as a serious security services provider in East Africa , didn’t immediately answer requests for comment.
The French embassy in Dar es Salaam couldn’t immediately be reached for comment and French foreign ministry officials in Paris weren’t available.