As part of measures to contain the escalating violence between Muslim youths and traditional authorities over a piece of land at old Tafo and parts of the Magazine area of Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional Security Council has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew from 6pm to 6am, starting from Wednesday 10th February, 2016.
Scores of persons were wounded on Wednesday in the clashes and have been sent to the hospital. The vandalism and destruction was triggered by disagreements over a piece of land at the Old Tafo Cemetry.
Reports have it that the incident occurred when the Muslim youths were building a fence around a portion of the cemetery that has been allotted to them to bury their dead. This move was what provoked the loyalists of the Tafo traditional council.
The Muslims claimed that the Tafo traditional council has been selling their cemetery to people and they didn’t like the move. They therefore decided to fence the facility to protect it against encroachment.
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Gunshots reverberated through the troubled streets of Old Tafo in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi following the explosion in violence Wednesday afternoon.
One person is believed to have been shot dead and many have been rushed to medical facilities for treatment. Several others were hacked with machetes, clubs, knives and hammers and other offensive weapons by angry Muslim youths. The Muslim youths who claimed to be fighting a jihad, violently and indiscriminately assaulted anyone they found on the streets.
Vehicles, stalls and houses were also damaged with some of them set ablaze in the outrage. Reports have it that the entire township is in a state of shock and this has led to many residents living in fear.
However, heavily armed military and police personnel are seen on the streets ensuring people stay in their homes and also to prevent further damage to lives and property.
Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Security Council, Peter Anarfi Mensah, in a statement appealed to the residents of the area to respect the imposed curfew. He explained that this will help security officials restore safety and order in the place. His words:
All persons within the vicinity of Tafo are entreated to observe this directive by remaining indoors in order to help protect life and property.”
Security forces are on the ground to enforce the order and any person found in the area during the curfew hours would be dealt with ruthlessly.”
The public is also hereby assured that the necessary security arrangements have been put in place to ensure maximum security and safety within the area and there should be no panic but to remain calm as the security forces are in full control of the situation,” he said.
The Regional Security Council (REGSEC) is however monitoring the measures put in place and would review the situation and issue further directives as the situation improves.