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Gunman kills four in attack near French embassy in Tanzania

Reuters logo Reuters 25/08/2021

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DAR ES SALAAM, Aug 25 (Reuters) - An attacker wielding an assault rifle was shot dead after killing three police officers and an employee of a private security company near the French embassy in Tanzania on Wednesday, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said.

Hassan said on Twitter that the attacker had been "neutralized" and "calm has returned."

A stock photo of a Police Line "Do Not Cross" caution tape with a defocused police car with sirens flashing red and blue. A stock photo of a Police Line "Do Not Cross" caution tape with a defocused police car with sirens flashing red and blue.

"I send my condolences to the police service and the families of three policemen, and one officer of the SGA security company, who lost their lives after an armed person attacked them in the Salenda area of Dar es Salaam," Hassan said in a tweet.

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 neighboring Mozambique, where it sent troops this month to help fight Islamist insurgents as part of a regional security force.

"There are problems, our soldiers are there," Sirro said of Mozambique.

Video footage posted online, which could not immediately be verified, showed the gates of the French embassy in Tanzania's main city Dar es Salaam, a man outside of the gate, and the sounds of gunfire crackling.

Tanzanian television aired footage showing police officers in bullet-proof vests who appeared to be wrapping a dead body outside the embassy in white material to remove it from the scene.

Sirro, the police inspector general, police spokesperson David Misime and 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. (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie, Maggie Fick and Nuzulack Dausen Writing by Duncan Miriri Editing by Peter Graff)

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