Mozambique: Two Die As Police Abort Kidnapping

Maputo – Two people died on Friday night in a clash between the Mozambican police and a gang of kidnappers in Patrice Lumumba neighbourhood, in the southern city of Matola, reports Monday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.

One of the kidnap gang was shot dead in the shootout, but the other person who died was a passer-by, struck by a stray bullet.

The drama began at about 20.30 on Friday when a gang of six people kidnapped a woman named Felizarda Cohote, as she was opening the gate to her home in the Maputo neighbourhood of Mahotas. Two of the kidnappers took control of Cohote’s vehicle, a Hyundai, and thrust her into the back seat.

The other four men remained in their own car, a Honda Fit, and escorted the Hyundai as it drove towards Patrice Lumumba.

But the Hyundai was fitted with an electronic tracking device of the company Cartrack. When members of Cohote’s family alerted the police, a police unit and Cartrack agents were able to follow the kidnappers.

Near the Patrice Lumumba market the criminals realised that they were being followed. They opened fire against the police, and in the exchange of shots one of the kidnappers and a bystander were killed.

According to the spokesperson for the Maputo Provincial Police Command, Juarce Martins, another member of the kidnap gang was seriously injured and is now in police custody, while the other four criminals, some of whom may also be injured, fled and are still at large. The kidnappers left behind them two pistols and 14 bullets.

Cohote was unharmed and the police returned her to her family later that evening.

Source: All Africa