Three arrested over Qeme killings

Three arrested over Qeme killings

Staff Reporter

MASERU

THREE men including a Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) soldiers have been arrested in connection with the Qeme killings two months ago.

Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Clifford Molefe told a press conference on Monday that investigations led the police to these men after the murder of a woman soldier in Naleli three weeks ago.

The arrested soldier is from the Makoanyane Military Base while his co-accused are from Matsieng in the Maseru district and Motsekuoa in the district of Mafeteng.

At the time of the arrest early last week they were staying in Lithoteng and Qoaling in Maseru.

Their ages are 22, 30 and 33 years.

Molefe said the men were also suspected of shooting dead two men, Motlatsi Tsoamotse and Kabelo Nkhahle, near a filling station at Ha-Thetsane recently.

They are also suspected to have been behind the killing of Makoa Lesenyeho and injuring a woman ’Mamotaoana Lesenyeho and one Lioi Leeto when they shot them recently.

The injured were admitted at Queen ’Mamohato Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds.

These men were arrested shortly after they allegedly killed a member of the Lesotho Defence Force, Lance Corporal Reitumetse Mokoena, in Naleli.

The suspects are also said to have been behind the shootings in Qeme Ha-’Mantšebo where four people Tumelo Kobile, Pali Kobile, Lebese Molemela and Tšukulu Molemela were killed and seven others injured.

The police have declined to give their names until they have appeared before court for remand.

The arrest happened in a week in which Lesotho was hosting a SADC regional police conference on the rampant availability of small arms and its consequences.

It was at this meeting where the Lesotho police authorities said small arms were so rampant in the Kingdom that they were able to collect hundreds of them during planned raids in villages.

Also the police said Lesotho’s porous borders made the country susceptible to the smuggling of guns from neighbouring South Africa.

A week earlier, Police Minister Monyane Moleleki had told parliament that the police were doing their utmost to fight against illegal possession of firearms and their misuse.

Moleleki said in 2015/2016 financial year the police collected 1002 rounds of ammunition in 302 raids held countrywide.

He said the police have also recovered about 300 illegal guns during the raids.

These guns are used in cattle raids, cash heists and other armed robberies.

Moleleki said the police recovered 1 021 cattle, 248 horses, 204 donkeys, 1 899 goats and 2 156 sheep that had been stolen countrywide.

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