Calm returns to choma after riots

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Rioting broke out in Choma yesterday when angry taxi drivers took to the streets and clashed with police.

Meanwhile, relative calm has returned to Choma though riot police are still maintaining vigil in the central business district.

Trouble started when taxi drivers who had just finished putting to rest a colleague suspected to have been ritually murdered months ago besieged the main police station demanding that police avails the suspect behind the murder of their colleague.

When police refused to meet their demand, the irate taxi drivers with support from some traders and residents took to the streets destroying property.

Police who responded by firing tear gas were however overwhelmed in the ensuing running battles that lasted nearly four hours.

The situation was only brought under control when personnel from the Zambia National Service reinforced the over stretched police officers.

Three police officers were injured when they fell off a moving vehicle after the tear gas canister fired at rioters was unexpectedly thrown back at them.

In the aftermath of yesterday’s riots, streets in the central business district are strewn with boulders and others objects used by rioters to fight police.

District Police Commanding Officer Moffat Zimba has declined to give details on yesterday’s rioting referring queries to the command in Lusaka.

Police sources however told ZANIS 14 people have been arrested for riotous behavior while an unknown number of people injured during the disturbances have been admitted to Choma general hospital.