A gunman killed three police officers and a private security guard on a rampage through a diplomatic quarter of Tanzania’s main city Dar es Salaam on Wednesday (August 25), before being shot dead while holed up in a guardhouse at the French embassy’s gate.
Police said the attacker had first shot two police officers with a pistol at an intersection in the district, which houses a number of diplomatic missions. He took rifles from the fallen police officers, and headed on foot to the French embassy a few hundred metres away, firing randomly and occupying the guardhouse.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan said on Twitter that the attacker had been “neutralised” and “calm has returned”.
Six people were injured in addition to the four who were killed, police commissioner of operations and training Liberatus Sabas said in a Tweet shared by the account of the Tanzanian Police Force.
Inspector-General of Police Simon Sirro said in an interview aired on local television that police were trying to identify the attacker. While the motive was not yet known, Sirro suggested the attack could be related to Tanzania’s role in neighbouring Mozambique, where it sent troops this month to help fight Islamist insurgents as part of a regional security force.
Police official Sabas told reporters it was too early to say whether the gunman was a Tanzanian national, or whether he had links to terrorism.
SGA Security, which describes itself as a major security services provider in East Africa, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The French embassy in Dar es Salaam could not immediately be reached for comment and French foreign ministry officials in Paris were not available.
SABC’s Daniel Kijo reports from Dar es Salaam: