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Irate Garu youth fire at counter-terrorism operatives

The Garu men, armed with clubs, machetes and AK-47 rifles, stopped and confronted a team of counterterrorism intelligence officers

Intelligence sources have confirmed to Asaase News that the five counterterrorism operatives who were attacked in Garu, were on a special anti-terrorism operation, tracking a suspected terrorist who had entered Ghana from Burkina Faso

The attack shows another complex dimension of the Bawku chieftaincy conflict and how the instability in the area is frustrating the efforts of the country’s security agencies to counter the threat of terrorism in the West African region.

All three of Ghana’s immediate neigbours, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso have all suffered a series of terrorist attacks. Ghana spends tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of personnel along the borders to maintain eternal vigilance.

Asaase News information is that, the operatives were deployed from Accra following intelligence from the ground. Their presence there, according to our deep throat intelligence sources, had absolutely nothing to do with the local conflict.

It took the intervention of heavily armed military personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to prevent bloodshed in Garu in the Upper East Region as rampaging, men went on a shooting spree at Garu Police Station.

The violent Garui gang, armed with clubs, machetes, AK-47 rifles, and other weapons, stopped and confronted a team of counterterrorism intelligence officers on special operations in the North on Tuesday (24 October 2023).

The officials, travelling in a black Toyota Land Cruiser, identified themselves as security operatives on national duty. But the irate Kusasi group would have none of it and accused the officials of being allies of a Mamprusi chief.

Bulletholes in the Land Cruiser damaged in an attack by Kusasi gang in Garu, Upper East Region (24 October 2023)

They claimed that the special operations team was part of an alleged elaborate scheme by the Mamprusis to send a rival Bawku Naba, Naa Alhaji Seidu Abagre (Kulga II), into Bawku for the celebration of the Damba Festival.


The installation of a new chief at the beginning of the year raised tension in the area, leading to security concerns, because the Kusasis hold firm that Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II is the legitimate Bawku Naba.

The violent face-off continued for several minutes, amid physical threats from the Kusasi men, who seemed intent on attacking and harming the officials. To prevent the situation from escalating further, the team took a detour to the police station.

However, the Kusasi gang pursued them and called for reinforcements from armed locals, who converged on Garu Police Station. The officials had to take cover there to prevent an exchange of fire which could have resulted in a bloodbath.

Bullet-riddled Land Cruiser after attack by Kusasi gang in Garu, Upper East Region (24 October 2023)

Dozens of Kusasi men besieged the police station, surrounding it and firing sporadic gunshots which carried on through the night. The gang turned the location into a war zone with their heavy shooting until about 5.30am the following day, when military reinforcements arrived to extract the officials from the scene and escort them to safety.

A great deal of property was destroyed by the attackers, including the officers’ vehicle, which was badly damaged, with all its windows smashed. The car was left riddled with bullet holes from the shots fired from the sophisticated guns carried by the Kusasis.

It is unclear the number of casualties recorded, but security has been tightened to ensure calm.

In a related development, an audio recording in the Kusaal language has gone viral since the violent attack.

Land Cruiser damaged in attack by Kusasi gang in Garu, Upper East Region (24 October 2023)

The tape captures the voice of one Moro Zabug, who swears heaven and earth to kill the Kusasis’ targets. The suspect further mentions Akeem Aeiwin (Boga), Justice Jambiedu and Honourable Mutalla (Zongo assembly member), threatening to deal with them ruthlessly for foiling attempts to kill the occupants of the vehicle and set it ablaze.

Moro Zabug calls the three men traitors and devises plans to fish them out and deal with them without mercy.

Meanwhile, investigations have commenced as the police chase the perpetrators to bring them to book.

However, it is unclear what the next steps of the security apparatus may be to ensure sanity, in the face of constant attacks on innocent security officials and police stations in the area.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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