Gambia: Armed robbers exchange fire with soldiers in Essau

Gambia: Armed robbers exchange fire with soldiers in Essau

New details are emerging surrounding the armed robbery of a pharmacy in the northern Gambian city of Essau, in the Niumi District of North Bank Region.

Gambian soldiers and West African forces exchanged fire with the armed robbers during the robbery, according to the police.

At least one of the robbers was injured from a stab wound to the rib by the watchman, Modou Jallow but all seven of them escaped into the darkness of the night.

The robbers were armed with locally made single barreled guns called katrous. Several bullet casings were found after the incident.

The robbery reportedly happened a few hundred meters but a local police station and a military installation.

Police officers that first arrived responded without no weapons, forcing them to take cover until the military arrived, according to witness accounts.

None of the responders were injured but the watchman was beaten by the robbers and left seriously injured. He is admitted to a local hospital in the area.

Police are investigating but no suspect has been arrested yet. The robbers made away with at least D10,000 dalasis ($250) from the safe.

Although a few hours from the Gambia’s northern border with Senegal, armed robberies are frequent in Gambia’s border towns.

The development of new details into the robbery has raised questions about the competence of security forces in the country.

Crimes have steadily increased in The Gambia this year, following the months of turmoil sparked by a political standoff in the aftermath of its presidential elections.

West African forces are in the country to help stabilize the country’s fragile security and its resources have so been stretched with reports of external armed opposition.

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