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SITEKI – Two of the three inmates, who recently escaped from Big Bend Correctional facility, have been shot dead by the police.

Celumusa Maziya and Chissano Nhleko were gunned down by police while at Manyeveni area near Mpaka, yesterday evening.
They were killed together with another man, whose identity was not immediately ascertained.

The three men had been staying at a homestead, which reportedly belongs to Maziya’s uncle, said sources close to the police.
“Today (yesterday) police got information about the location of the suspects and they immediately proceeded to the homestead to confront them. It was a joint operation of police officers from Siteki, Big Bend and Manzini,” said a source close to the police.

According to the source, police found the suspects relaxing inside a rondavel within the homestead.
The officers surrounded the homestead and called out the suspects to surrender but they responded by firing at the police, added the source.
“There was an exchange of fire which lasted for a while. The police were firing at the rondavel while the people inside returned fire through a window,” narrated the source.

Seeing that the suspects were not backing down, the police reportedly hatched a plan to force the suspects out of the rondavel.
The officers reportedly dosed the rondavel with petrol and then set it alight.
This forced the three men out of the rondavel and that is how they got shot, narrated the source.

Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati ,confirmed last night that two wanted suspects had been shot dead.
She said they were shot together with another man, who is suspected to have been harbouring them.
She confirmed that two of the men recently escaped from the Big Bend Correctional facility.

People who visited the scene after the shooting told this publication that the homestead resembled a war zone.
The rondavel, where the suspects were hiding, is riddled with bullet holes and cartridges were scattered all over the homestead , said a person who visited the homestead following the shooting. Maziya and Nhleko escaped from Big Bend Correctional facility in May this year.


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