Two fuel smugglers were on Friday shot dead and several others injured in Koboko district in a clash with Uganda Revenue Authority operatives.
The clash broke out when the operatives impounded 80 liters of fuel and six unregistered motorcycles smuggled into Uganda from the Democratic Republican of Congo.
An eye witness Patrick Geria told Uganda Radio Network that, angry residents tried to lynch the operatives forcing them to shoot directly at the crowd before they took refuge at Koboko police station.
The smugglers later ganged up with traders stormed the police, and set the impounded motor cycles and the operative's car on fire. Koboko district Police Commander Fredrick Ssegirinya confirmed the death of two people and several others injured.
Ssegirinya says the two URA operatives are being detained at Arua Regional Police head quarters, though he did not say whether or not police would prefer charges against them.
According to Ssegirinya heavily armed UPDF soldiers were called in to disperse the mob that had besieged Koboko police station and restore order.
Businesses came to a standstill as the protestors blocked all roads in the town.
The URA Supervisor for the West Nile Lt. Patrick Mwesigwa confirmed the clash between his operatives and smugglers.
He says that the rampant smuggling in the West Nile region is denying government a lot of revenue.
Frank Mugabi, the Newvision Arua based reporter was beaten by the angry mob that mistook him for a URA operative.
The mob took away his camera and a mobile phone. Mugabi sustained injuries and is admitted at Koboko health center.
Traders in the area who spoke to URN, accused URA officials of excessive force and brutality during their operations.