Arusha. Armed bandits struck the Arusha city centre again over the weekend, taking Sh2 million from the petrol station.
Armed with pistols, the four suspected robbers forced their way into the Manjis Petrol Station along the busy Sokoine Road and grabbed the money from the attendants.
The acting regional police commander Yusuph Ilembo confirmed the 7:30pm robbery on Sunday, saying before grabbing the money the bandits fired two shots into the air and forced the attendants to lie down.
Upon entering the fuel station, two of them went straight into the cashier's room while others remained outside, watching the rest of the employees.
He said nobody was injured and that the police were hunting down the suspects who disappeared into the nearby river after the incident.
Mehbob Sajan, a supervisor of the petrol station owned by a prominent businessman in Arusha, said the suspects covered their faces during the robbery.
Although the gangsters had apparently taken advantage of the heavy rains which pounded the city on Sunday evening, the incident has left the business community at a loss over increasing insecurity.
The incident took place a few metres from a popular eatery Hot Place at the junction of Pangani and Jacaranda roads which has been raided by bandits three times in the last couple of months.
No suspects had been arrested in the successive raids in which about Sh. 6 million in cash, mobile phones, rings, laptops and othr items were taken from the clients, mainly the tourists.
Local government officials and residents of the Arusha central business district (CBD) interviewed called on the police to beef up security in order to avert such incidents.
Three years ago, owners of businesses within the city centre, including hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and banks decided to prohibit motorcycles (boda boda) operators from parking outside their premises as one measure to contain crime.