- Southern Africa
- Politics - Crime
Lesotho PM’s assassination attempt, suspects arrested
Minister Metsing says the attempt was politically motivated
Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili has escaped an assassination attempt in the country’s capital of Maseru.
According to reports from the tiny mountainous kingdom, on Wednesday night unidentified gunmen launched an overnight attack and opened fire at the house of the prime minister.
Several suspects were reportedly killed in the clash with the police, but the exact number is unclear. Two other suspects were arrested, the reports said.
A full scale investigation has begun into Wednesday’s assassination attempt.
Lesotho Communications Minister Mothetjoa Metsing was quoted by state radio as saying that the event was politically motivated.
Security has reportedly been tightened after Wednesday’s assassination attempt on the life of Prime Minister Mosisili.
Meanwhile, opposition political parties have sharply condemned the attack, describing it as barbaric and unwarranted.
They add that it is unconscionable for any Basotho to die for the sake of political inclinations.
Neighboring South Africa’s President Kgalema Motlanthe, who doubles as the chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), criticized the attack, saying no cause can ever justify such a heinous act.
Prime Minister Mosisili has been the leader of the country for the last 12 years. He was re-elected in the 2007 general elections, which were judged by both local and international poll observers to be free and fair, although the opposition strongly objected.
The Kingdom of Lesotho is an independent landlocked enclave surrounded by the South African territory.