MASERU, At least three senior Lesotho Defence Force officers are reported to have died following a shootout in the army commander’s office in the capital, Maseru, Tuesday.

Eyewitnesses say two other officers, Colonel Tefo Hashatsi and Colonel Bulane Sechele, forced their way into the office of Army Commander Lieutenant-General Khoantle Motsomotso and demanded to see him.

Earlier reports said the commander was injured but unconfirmed reports say he too was killed.

Both Hashatsi and Sechele were implicated in the killing of former army commander Maaparankoe Mahao in June 2015, but neither confirmed or denied their involvement.

Meanwhile, President Tom Thabane has called for calm in Lesotho as tensions mount in the Mountain Kingdom.

As unconfirmed reports of attacks at the house of Lesotho’s army chief surface, South African President Jacob Zuma has commented on the current situation in the Mountain Kingdom.

Last week, the country’s former deputy prime minister fled the country and the former defence minister was arrested.

Zuma said upon his return to South Africa after attending the BRICS Summit in China that he would immediately meet Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to seek an update on the latest developments. Ramaphosa is points man appointed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Lesotho.

President Zuma said he was surprised at the latest developments in Lesotho as SADC leaders who held their summit in Pretoria on Aug 19 and 20 were assured that all was normal. The SADC has appointed a committee which will look at the implementation of the Phumaphi Commission Recommendations and chief among these are the constitutional and security reforms.