Kibaale. A UPDF soldier attached to the law enforcement unit in National Forestry Authority (NFA) has been arrested on allegation that he shot dead a suspected illegal pit sawyer in Kangombe Forest Reserve, Kibaale District.
The suspect is said to have found Samuel Birungi Salongo, 53, reportedly harvesting timber in one of the biggest forest reserve in the district.
The deceased was shot in an operation mounted by NFA officials to crack down on illegal pit sawyers.
According to the district police commander Kibaale, Mr Patrick Ewan, preliminary investigations revealed the late Birungi was shot as he attempted to use the power saw to cut the soldier as he tried to arrest him.
“We condemn the act and police have already arrested the soldier and his gun impounded, including the power saw which was allegedly used by the deceased,” Mr Ewan said.
He added that police have preferred murder charges against the suspect but more investigations are being conducted before he is produced in courts of law. Mr Martin Mwondi, the range manger Budongo systems, told Daily Monitor the deceased was found illegally cutting timber and resisted arrest.
“NFA regrets the incident because our operations do not aim at killing people. The deceased was hit on the back by a stray bullet as he took off,” he said.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor