Mozambique 'most wanted' man killed by Maputo police

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A policeman on a street of Mozambique's capital, Maputo, during February's protests over bus fares
Image caption,
Agostinho Chauque was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police

Mozambique's most wanted criminal has been shot dead in the capital Maputo, police say.

Agostinho Chauque was killed on Sunday night in an exchange of gunfire between the police and a gang trying to steal a car, they say.

Chauque was accused of killing police officers and violent bank robberies.

Six police officers have been killed in Maputo so far this year and a police spokesperson says Chauque's death will fuel efforts to crack down on crime.

Maputo police spokesperson Arnaldo Chefu says Chauque was leading the gang, which began shooting indiscriminately when police tried to help the owner of the car the gang was trying to steal.

The gang escaped with Chauque's body, which was later found abandoned in a car in Matola City, near Maputo, Mr Chefu says.

In 2006, another notorious Mozambican criminal Ananias Mathe was recaptured after having escaped from a maximum-security prison in South Africa, apparently by greasing himself up in Vaseline and squeezing through his tiny cell window.