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Moz suspected kingpin killed

Maputo -

Mozambican police have killed the suspected kingpin of a kidnapping ring that has targeted wealthy Muslims in Maputo during a raid in which six were also arrested, it said on Tuesday.

The arrests came after powerful Islamic groups threatened to hold country-wide protests and shut down Asian-run business if the crimes were not solved.

“Last Friday during a police operation six people were arrested, four men and two women,” Police Superintendent Raul Freia told AFP on Tuesday.

The suspected leader of the abduction cell, named as Orquilio Nhassengo, died on the way to hospital after he “offered up some resistance to police and tried to reach for his gun,” Freia said.

All suspects in police custody are Mozambican.

The kidnappings began last December, targeting mainly wealthy businessmen of Pakistani origin, but also members of the Hindu community.

These latest arrests bring to “roughly 15” the numbers of suspects police have in custody, said Freia, including those netted in a previous police raid in June.

However, the crimes appeared to continue unabated with several attempted kidnappings reported in the local media. - Sapa-AFP

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