Members of Gambia's Army forces are seen in front of  Supreme Court in Banjul, Gambia December 5, 2016. Picture taken December 5, 2016. REUTERS/ Thierry Gouegnon

Police probing political clashes in two villages

Gambian authorities are investigating the clashes between opposition and government supporters in President Adama Barrow’s native home, Busumbala and Brikama, an official confirmed.

Police spokesperson David Kujabi said investigators are looking into the matter, following an order by Mr. Barrow for law enforcement officers to probe the matter.

“This is a democratic country where all are free to support any political party of their choice,” said Kujabi in a statement, just hours after President Barrow expressed ‘regret’ at the incident that has put the security of the nation into question.

Opposition and government supporters are blaming each other for the skirmish that has left several people injured and properties, including that of the religious head of Busumbala, seriously damaged.

Angry villagers in Busumbala blocked streets scouting for supporters of the ex-President Yahya Jammeh, who they said were the first to launch an assault on them.

But opposition officials say their convoy was ambushed by the villagers, who were supporting the government. The opposition leader, Fabakary Tombong Jatta said the attack on the convoy was born out of jealousy and praised his supporters for exercising restraint.

The police have not arrested anyone, according to both sides. It is the second time that opposition and government supporters clashed in Busumbala in fewer than three months.

(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Editing by Assan Sallah)

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