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Remains of anti-poaching pilot flown to UK for burial

09 February 2016, 20:54

Arusha - The body of UK pilot killed by Tanzanian poachers last week was on Thursday flown to England for burial.

The casket bearing the remains of Roger Gower was seen taken to the Kilimanjaro International Airport from the Mount Meru Regional Hospital, and later in the evening flown to the UK through Qatar Airways.

Nora Christopher, an official of a funeral service company assigned to handle the pilot's remains said that Gower's body was expected to board Qatar Airways at 17:40 local time for Heathrow Airport.

"We are here to ferry his Gower's body to KIA where it will be transported to England for burial," said the official with the funeral service company.

On Monday, the police force in Simiyu region announced that they had arrested six people in connection to the shooting and killing of the British helicopter pilot.

According to the Regional Police Commander, Gemini Mushy, the arrested had confirmed to have killed the pilot.

Also read: Ruto confident ICC will rule in his favour Friday

The police claimed to have been in pursuit of the killers since the incident happened last week.

Gower was fatally wounded by an AK-47 while taking part in a helicopter operation to catch the poachers in the game reserve next to Serengeti National park.

The brutal death of the pilot has since been met with an uproar with stakeholders in the tourism sector calling for the government's commitment and a more rigorous supportive anti-poaching training programme for park rangers.

Tanzania is fighting a bitter struggle to stop ivory poachers, with a report released last year saying that 60 per cent of the elephant population in Tanzania had been lost since 2009.

A former accountant, Gower is said to be qualified as a pilot in 2004 and moved to Africa around two years later, according to a profile with his former employer Tropic Air Kenya. It also says he helped the British Army on exercises in the country.

- Xinhua

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