Four people were killed and seven injured in northeastern Angola on the margins of a police operation targeting foreign nationals suspected of diamond smuggling, media reports said on Friday.
The violence erupted as police rounded up “illegal aliens” and seized about 3,000 diamonds, 150 vehicles and more than US$80,000 in cash.
Three Angolans were hacked to death with machetes by foreign nationals they had accused of smuggling, and an Angolan was shot dead, national broadcaster TPA said.
The incidents took place on Thursday evening and Friday in the Lunda Norte province bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
POLICE ARREST 800
“Many foreigners who engage in illegal activities in the country result in enormous sums of money coming into circulation... This situation cannot be tolerated in an orderly country,” police spokesman Antonio Bernado said.
The president of the Lunda Tchokwe protectorate confirmed the death toll.
Officers arrested around 800 people as part of the operation including Congolese, Lebanese, Malians and Nigerians, Bernardo said.
Repatriation of those arrested from the DR Congo had already started, while others would be transferred to Luanda and then deported to their home countries, he added.
Angola which has a population of about 28 million is home to three million foreign nationals, about half of whom live illegally in the country, Bernardo said.
Provincial government spokesman Armando Cipema said that police had targeted “illegal aliens in the country, especially in houses bought with diamonds.”
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