MAPUTO, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Mozambican police confirmed Friday night that seven suspected criminals were killed in a gun-fire exchange in the Maputo suburb of Matola just as they were about to commit crime.
"The criminals were heavily armed. The police was following them and tried to neutralize them when they opened fire against the police. We confirm that seven of them were shot dead at scene," said Police Spokesperson Juarte Martins.
The incident, which took place in one of the busiest roads linking the two cities, paralyzed traffic for hours.
"I saw it happening. I was in my car. On my count I saw six dead bodies, but I am told the other one was in the car," a witness said.
Police are still chasing the remaining gang members involved in criminal operations in Matola, where they were about to start one more operation before police intervened.
"That is a large gang. They are widely known as the cutlass group. They normally move around in groups of eight to nine, some carrying weapons and others carrying knives, cutlass and tools to breakdown doors and attack their victims," said Martins.
The public has been told to inform police of any suspects asking for help to treat wounds likely caused by the Friday gun-fire exchange.