March 17, 2017 / 9:28 AM / 4 months ago

Uganda says unknown gunmen kill senior police official

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Unknown gunmen killed the spokesman for Uganda's police force and also his bodyguard and driver early on Friday as the official left his home in the capital Kampala, a government spokesman said.

Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Felix Kaweesi and the two other victims were killed in Kulambiro, a suburb in the north of the capital, government spokesman Ofwono Opondo told Reuters.

"He (Kaweesi) was waylaid this morning by yet unknown gunmen. All the occupants of the vehicle were killed," Opondo said.

Details of the attack, including the motive, were unclear but Opondo said the perpetrators must have used a "powerful weapon", given they knew they were attacking armed people.

In the moments after the attack, images on local television showed a large crowd gathered at the scene and a parked Toyota Landcruiser with both doors on the driver's side open. There was blood spattered on the ground.

The driver appeared to have died while struggling to exit the vehicle while at least one other body was also visible in the back seat.

Crime is rampant in Uganda but the shooting dead of high ranking security personnel is rare.

Kaweesi gained a prominent public profile when, as head of police operations in greater Kampala, he oversaw frequent arrests of Uganda's main opposition figure, Kizza Besigye.

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Catherine Evans

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