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Ghanaian police: Peace Corps volunteer kills suspected robber

From Israel Laryea, For CNN
updated 11:38 PM EDT, Mon July 16, 2012
  • Robbers accost two Peace Corps volunteers, a source says
  • One fought back, killing one of the assailants, the source says
  • The U.S. State Department says it is providing consular assistance

Accra, Ghana (CNN) -- A U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in northern Ghana stabbed and killed a suspected robber, the police officer investigating the case said Monday.

The volunteer, identified by the Ghanaian officer as 26-year-old Andrew Kristler, was with another Peace Corps volunteer early Saturday morning in Wa, the capital of the Upper West Region. They were accosted by two alleged assailants, according to the officer, who was not authorized to speak on the record.

A struggle ensued and Kristler stabbed one of the assailants in the chest, killing him, the officer said. The volunteer sustained wounds to his shoulder and hand.

Police discovered the body of the alleged assailant early Saturday morning; the other attacker remains at large.

Following drops of blood from the body, police were led to Kristler, the officer said. By way of explanation for why he hadn't reported to the incident to police promptly, the volunteer allegedly told authorities he had been advised by the U.S. Embassy in Accra to stay indoors, the officer said.

That account was disputed by Mike Koffman, the country director of Peace Corps in Ghana. He said Kristler reported the incident.

U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell weighed in on what happened Monday.

"We can confirm that two Peace Corps volunteers in Ghana were the victims of a crime in the early hours of Saturday, July 14. Contrary to media reports, they are not being detained at this time. The matter is under investigation by Ghanaian officials. We are closely monitoring the situation and are providing consular assistance," he said.

According to the investigating officer in Ghana, Kristler is required to check back in with police next week.

Nearly 5,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Ghana since 1961, according to the program's website.

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