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Nine suspects now held over killing of British pilot

Helicopter pilot Roger Gower Credit: Tropic Air Kenya

Nine suspects are now being held over the killing of British helicopter pilot Roger Gower who was on an anti-poaching mission, police in Tanzania say.

Seven more suspects have been arrested for the shooting of Mr Gower, who was on a joint operation with Tanzanian wildlife authorities when he was shot, Simiyu regional police commander Lazaro Mambosasa said.

Mr Gower died on January 29 in Maswa wildlife reserve, near Serengeti National Park.

Mambosasa said some of the suspects identified the man who pulled the trigger. Three elephant tusks and 29 firearms were seized in the operation to arrest Mr Gower's killers.

Tanzania has been identified as a key hotspot for elephant poachers.

'Three people held' over British helicopter pilot's death

Video report by ITV News' Dan Ashby

Three people have reportedly been arrested over the shooting of a British helicopter pilot by elephant poachers in Tanzania.

The men were held by police in the East African country over the death of Roger Gower, the AFP news agency reported.

Mr Gower, 37, was helping authorities in Tanzania track poachers when they fired on his aircraft on Friday, according to the Friedkin Conservation Fund.

He managed to bring the helicopter down in the Maswa Game Reserve, near Serengeti National Park in the country's north, but died from his wounds before he could be rescued.

Tanzania is fighting a bitter struggle to stop ivory poachers, a report last year said 60% of its elephant population had been lost in the previous five years.

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Tributes paid to UK helicopter pilot killed by poachers

Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to British helicopter pilot Roger Gower who was shot down and killed by elephant poachers in Tanzania.

They described him as "a great guy, a great friend, a great pilot" who loved working with Tanzania's wildlife.

The shooting happened on Friday as he flew over a nature reserve near the world famous Serengeti national park.

Video report by ITV News' reporter Helen Callaghan

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