“We initially arrested 21 Ethiopians and three Somalis in the 4am ambush. The rest were arrested at 9am,” he stated.
Mr Kellol said the three Somalis had documents indicating they were from Dadaab Refugee Camp while “None of the Ethiopians had documents.”
Speaking to The Standard on the phone, the DC noted the crackdown on illegal immigrants is still on, adding that it will even be intensified.
“I appeal to the public to provide information on people who might be in the country illegally,” he added.
He further said his office was working closely with the Tanzanian counterparts to fight illegal immigration. “We know these people may be fleeing famine and war but rules and regulations must be adhered to.”
Last month, dozens of Ethiopians died after suffocating in a container truck and their bodies dumped on the roadside in Tanzania.
Up to 45 bodies were dumped along a busy forest highway, a local newspaper reported. Another 72 were found alive and taken to hospital.
The truck was probably on its way to the south-western border with Zambia and Malawi, officials said. Illegal immigrants are often smuggled by local truckers from Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam to border towns.
In January, 20 Somali migrants suffocated to death as they were being smuggled in a truck.