Residents were left terrified after armed robbers suspected of crossing into the country from neighboring Senegal opened fire and went on a rampage in Central Gambia.
The robbers had their eyes on at least two small banks and several businesses in the town of Kuntaur, the police have confirmed.
They broke into the office of the Reliance Financial Services, Yonna Forex Bureau and convenience store in Kuntaur and Wassu.
At least $10,130 (D466,000 dalasis) have been taken from the vault at Reliance Financial, $1,600 (74,000 dalasis) taken from the store belonging to a Mauritanian citizen, Saloum Hydara.
The robbers vandalized the computers at the Yonna Forex Bureau after they could not find the safe in which cash was deposited.
The police suspected that the robbers fired shots into the air to scare the security guard at Reliance. The robbers escaped in a white Toyota pick up truck.
The police, which is not armed called for the military to intervene. The nearest military post is Laminkoto. The soldiers tried to follow the trail of the robbers, who they believe have crossed into neighboring Senegal.
It is the second time in two months that armed robbers opened fire and evaded authorities. Gambian soldiers and West African forces, mainly from Senegal have been patrolling together to stabilize the country.