An attacker wielding an assault rifle was shot dead after killing three police officers and an employee of a private security company near the French embassy in the Tanzanian commercial capital Dar es Salaam on Wednesday, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said.
Hassan said on Twitter that the attacker had been “neutralised” and “calm has returned”.
“I send my condolences to the police service and the families of three policemen, and one officer of the SGA security company, who lost their lives after an armed person attacked them in the Salenda area of Dar es Salaam,” Hassan said.
Inspector General of Police Simon Sirro said police were trying to identify the attacker in a short video published by Millard Ayo, a Tanzanian news website. He said the gunman’s motives remained unknown.
Head of police operations Liberatus Sabas told reporters that six other people were injured in the incident.
Police on duty at the French mission and a nearby bank tried to stop the gunman, who was yelling that he wanted to kill police officers, according to witnesses.
“Several motorists abandoned their vehicles on the road and ran for cover,” Lucy Kilomo, a resident of the city’s Kinondoni area who was on a passenger bus, as cited by the Anadolu news agency.
The man was standing in the middle of a road when he was shot by police, she said.
The US Embassy warned citizens in a security alert to avoid the area.
The confrontation occurred shortly after President Samia Suluhu Hassan addressed security officials in another part of the city, Tanzania’s commercial hub.
The incident happened barely a month after a pistol-wielding man, who is believed to have had psychological problems, killed his friend and took his own life in Sinza, a suburb on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.