Shoot-out at base

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MASERU — A soldier shot and killed his two colleagues and seriously injured another one at Mokhotlong Military Base on Sunday night following what investigators suspect to have been a heated argument.

The incident happened on Sunday night around 10pm.

One of the soldiers died on the spot while the other was pronounced dead on arrival at Mokhotlong Hospital.

Police believe that the suspect turned his Guill rifle on his colleague following an argument but said investigations are still underway.

Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) spokesperson Lieutenant Matheanzima Taneso confirmed the incident.

Police spokesperson, Pheello Mphana also confirmed.

Taneso said the army was still investigating what could have triggered the shooting.

“Investigations are still in progress to get to the bottom of the matter but at the moment the cause is not clear,” Taneso said.

He said the shooting happened when the soldiers were in one of the rooms at the barracks. The suspect who had not been named at the time of going to press is currently being held at Mokhotlong Prison awaiting trial.

The names of the deceased have not yet been released because their relatives have not yet been informed.

The injured soldier was transferred to Makaoenyane Barracks in Maseru the same day.

Taneso said he was “recovering well”. 

He said the soldier had broken his arm but he was not sure “whether it is the right or left side”.

He said the suspect fled the army base immediately after the shooting.

He hid in the mountains around the base but was caught after a manhunt.

The soldiers involved in the incident were part of the group that had been sent from Maseru on a routine patrol mission to Mokhotlong where they were staying at the base.

“They were on a military task in the area. The incident happened within the base. Soldiers get guns during their patrol missions.”

Taneso said the LDF had sent a team on Sunday to investigate the incident.

Mphana said police were carrying out their own investigations and the suspect would be sent to court soon.

Taneso said there will be two processes to deal with the suspect. 

“Because it is a murder case the matter will be handled by the normal courts but the army will also have a court martial for the suspect.”

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