Police in Mbarara district have recovered five guns and over 120 rounds of ammunition in the last one month.
The recovered guns are said to have been used to commit crimes such as murder, robbery.
The operation to rid Mbarara of armed criminals was started in early March and is still on going. All the recovered rifles are AK47 sub machine guns.
Jaffar Magyezi, the Mbarara District Police Commander, says that five suspects have so far been detained and three others died in the scuffles with the police.
Magyezi who does not want to reveal the identities of those arrested and the dead says that the police is trying to get rid of organized crime.
He says that the suspected criminals seem to be equipped with military skills and have always engaged police in exchange of gun fire before they are overpowered.
Magyezi says that the arrested suspects have always used Mbarara as an assembly point before spreading to the districts of Isingiro, Ibanda and Ntungamo.
He adds that a search for illegal guns in the area will continue.
The revelation comes barely a day after police in the greater Bushenyi discovered a gun that the police say had been in the wrong hands since 2015 after it was taken away by assailants who hacked to death a security guard in Ishaka town.
Armed thugs in Ankole sub region have on several occasions waylaid travelers, raided local savings associations and stolen cattle.