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Bawku: Ghana Armed Forces dispute allegations of deliberate shooting

The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have rejected accusations that their officers intentionally fired upon innocent civilians in Bawku, resulting in three casualties.

In a press release dated January 20, the GAF clarified that the incident occurred during a night foot patrol around Hasania School at Sabongari.

According to the GAF statement, at approximately 8:30 pm on Thursday, their officers were shot at by four gunmen, prompting a retaliatory response that led to the death of three assailants. The fourth gunman managed to escape. The troops recovered an AK-47 rifle with ammunition, and the Bawku Divisional Police currently have custody of the weapon.

The GAF emphasized the heightened tensions in Bawku, with a recent incident resulting in four deaths the previous week. They explained that the security presence and patrols were intensified in response to these escalating tensions. On the day of the incident, the officers were reportedly attacked by unknown gunmen, and later, the police thwarted an attempt to blow up the Bawku Goil filling station.

While expressing regret for the demise of the assailants, the GAF asserted that the evolving threat profile, as evidenced by attempts to detonate high explosives, necessitated their increased vigilance.

“In as much as GAF regrets the demise of the assailants, the escalating violence in the Bawku general area is unfortunate. The presence and attempt to detonate high explosives such as RPG bombs in the operational environment signposts the changing dynamics of the threat profile,” the statement read.

The GAF cautioned against direct engagement with the military, emphasizing their commitment to self-defense and the protection of residents. They urged factions involved in the conflict to avoid drawing the military into direct armed confrontation and called for support from the public in facilitating lasting peace in the region.

The GAF concluded by seeking the cooperation of all peace-loving Ghanaians, particularly the residents of Bawku, to aid in de-escalating tensions for the overall peace, security, and socio-economic development of the area and the nation.

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