President Magufuli condemns British conservationist’s murder

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Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has condemned the killing of a British conservationist after his helicopter was shot down while he was pursuing poachers.

Roger Gower, 37, was killed when the helicopter was brought down by suspected poachers during a patrol of the Maswa Reserve in northern Tanzania, close to the famous Serengeti National Park, on January 29.

The Briton who worked for the Friedkin Conservation Fund was tracking poachers after spotting the carcasses of recently killed elephants.

“This is a sad incident that must be strongly condemned,” Magufuli said in a statement, ordering all those involved to be “aggressively pursued and brought to justice.”

The East African country’s president also vowed to boost efforts to protect wildlife.

“I personally support the fight against poaching in our game reserves and national parks, let us join hands against the poachers,” added Magufuli.

He said five people had been arrested in connection to the murder.

Photographs of the crashed helicopter show twisted metal, as well as apparent bullet holes in the fuselage, and smears of blood on the pilot’s seat.