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23 soldiers cleared in Millennium City fatal shooting   
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A military inquiry that investigated some 23 soldiers for their roles in the shooting and killing of one person at Kasoa Millennium City last year has cleared them of any wrongdoing.

The investigation concluded that the soldiers were only defending themselves when they shot at three people during a demolition exercise by the 21st Century Construction Company.

The demolition exercise turned bloody when one person, Michael Darko, was reportedly killed, while two others sustained injuries after military personnel accompanying the demolition team fired warning shots to disperse residents who were protesting against the exercise.

The military subsequently set up an investigative team to ascertain the actual cause of Michael’s death.

Michael went into coma when he was hit by what residents suspect was a bullet at the back of his head.

However, a copy of the autopsy report signed by Dr. L. Edusei according to Joy News' Joseph Opoku Gakpo gave two reasons for the Michael's death: high velocity gunshot injury and fractured skull with cerebral convulsion.

Military Police sources say officers told investigators they were in the area to maintain order but the crowd attacked them with sticks and stones.

They say they responded with fire – 10 bullets in all – because they were “frightened.”
The 23 officers say they feared they would have been lynched if they had not acted.

Head of Public Affairs at the Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel Eric Aggrey Quarshie told Joy News the residents were incited against the soldiers, a claim the residents deny.

Although Col Quarshie admits there may have been excesses from the military men, they do not deserve to be kicked out of the force.

Joy News understands the Homicide Unit of the Ghana Police Service is also conducting a parallel criminal investigation into the incident, details of which yet to be made available.

Meanwhile, a brother of Michael Darko, Samuel, says the family is disappointed with the outcome of the military inquiry.
Source: ghanaweb

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