The head of the Gambian Police Force has denied giving officers the authority to use live ammunition during Monday’s deadly standoff in Faraba Banta.
At least two people have been confirmed dead and several others were seriously wounded when armed officers deployed in the village to quell a protest by villagers against the mining of sand in their village, fired live ammunition at them.
As criticism of the police intensifies, the Inspector General of Police, Landing Kinteh, said while the clash between the villagers and the subsequent lost of lives is regrettable, he did not give officers the mandate to shoot at the villagers.
“The Office of the Inspector General of Police wishes to make it clear that it did not authorise the use of firearms and will investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident,” Mr Kinteh said in a media statement.
“The Office of the Inspector General of Police wishes to express sincere condolences to the bereaved families and promise that appropriate action will be taken.
“The community of Faraba Banta is hereby urged to keep the peace, be law abiding and refrain from violence while investigations are launched.”