Police in Chingola’s Chiwempala area fought running battles with residents who were rioting over ritual killings, Wednesday morning.

The irate residents broke into and looted shops owned by businessmen alleged to have been behind the spate of ritual killings happening in Chingola.

The key suspect, according to the residents, is a man only identified as “Kawemfu” who has a chain of shops in Chimwepala.

The residents looted and brought down Kawemfu’s shops, his wife’s shop as well as his brother’s shops.

The irate residents started the riots as early as 08:30 hours, blocking Mainasoko and Solwezi roads with burning tyres.

Both Chingola District Commissioner Mary Chibesa and Copperbelt deputy police commissioner Wamuyima Wamuyima confirmed this to News Diggers.

Police officers, led by Chingola officer in-charge inspector Miselo, had to fire teargas to disperse the rioting residents but they were too many to control.

After some reinforcement from Kamfisa mobile police, the residents retreated, but within minutes, reconvened and started throwing stones at the officers.

Police fought back by following the residents to their homes where they also fired tear gas.

Copperbelt deputy Police Commissioner Wamuyima Wamuyima could not give full details of the damage caused as the riots where still on by 12:30 hours.

Chingola town has been hit with deaths associated with ritual killings with the recent one happening on December 30, 2019 in which six members of the same family were attacked and hacked with machetes, leaving one person dead.

By 12:40 hours, police had arrested some rioters.