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Residents of Koneyaw flee into bushes over fear of military reprisals
From: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah          Published On: February 18, 2013, 16:47 GMT
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Residents of Koneyaw flee into bushes over fear of military reprisals
Residents of Koneyaw in Bekwai in the Ashanti Region have fled their homes into the bushes over fears they will be attacked by angry soldiers.

Member of Parliament for the area, Joe Osei Owusu who confirmed the news said Koneyaw has been reduced into a ghost town.

Schools have been closed down as teachers, pupils and parents alike have all pitched camp into the bushes.

The residents fear the soldiers will revenge an attack on them by men suspected to be galamsey operators in the area.

Armed officers of the 4th infantry battalion in Kumasi were ambushed as they attempted to flush out illegal miners who had taken over a forest reserve.

Two of the military men were seriously wounded with one said to be in critical condition at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

The mob also managed to seize a fully loaded rifle from the soldiers in the confrontation described as bloody.

A section of the military men returned to the area in search of the culprits and the seized rifle.

But the residents suspect the military maybe on a mission to revenge and have decided to flee the town.

Joe Osei Owusu said he personally saw about 200 of the residents returning from the bush where they had spent the night.

The MP said one of them claimed he was bitten by a snake in the bush.

There is no food, because food vendors have also fled and so too have commercial drivers, the MP pointed out.

According to him, the exaggerated rumours of the death of the military man involved in the incident has heightened fears in the area, a rumour, he said was not true.

He appealed to the residents to return home, saying the military personnel are not in the town to cause mayhem.

He said the police have taken over investigations into the matter.

The Municipal District Chief Executive for Bekwai, Noah Asante Manu said ten people have been remanded over the matter after 24 were arrested and screened.

He also assured that the magazine will be found hopefully tomorrow.

He said the military men are not in the town and assured the residents to return.

The Public Relations Officer of the 4th infantry battalion in Kumasi, Lt. Col Stephen Pabi has meanwhile vehemently denied the allegations the military went to terrorise the residents after the incident.

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