4 May 2013

Kenya: Three MRC Suspects Arrested Over Killings

Photo: Facebook
MRC members (file photo): Hundreds of MRC supporters took to Mombasa's streets to celebrate a High Court ruling that overturned a government ban on the group.

A special squad of detectives have arrested three suspects in murder of six people, including four police officers, on the eve of the March 4 election in Changamwe.

The three were arrested on Wednesday during an operation at Mwaluphamba Forest in Kwale. They were undergoing illegal military training in the forest. Police have been on their trail for almost three months.

A senior officer leading the joint operation told the Star the three are suspected to be the masterminds of the recruitment and paramilitary training of Mombasa Republican Council.

"They will stand trial for the murder of Changamwe police boss Otieno Owuor, OCS Salim Chebii and inspectors Charles Maithya and Edward Songwa, and two villagers from Tiribe," said the officer.

Multiple police sources said the suspects led over 100 militiamen who confronted and hacked to death the four officers at a polling station in Miritini.

Police investigations have shown that the three and their accomplices escaped using speedboats after stealing two G3 rifles and a Ceska pistol from the slain officers.

Coast provincial police boss Aggrey Adoli confirmed the arrests."Am aware of on the on-going operation within the region to flush out criminal gangs blamed for recent attacks," said Adoli.

Adoli said special crime prevention units have been established in each district to coordinate the operations.The units will collaborate in gathering intelligence information on the recruitment and training of youths who join militia groups with aim of carrying out attacks mainly targeting security agents.

"We are committed to stopping the bloodletting of innocent lives of security officers and civilians by ensuring that elaborate teams are established and properly equipped," added Adoli.

The move comes at a time when police still struggle to recover more than 26 guns stolen in different police stations across the Coast region including Tana River, Kaloleni, Mombasa, Kwale and Likoni.

Adoli said security apparatus are facing challenges over the increased numbers of firearms that are still in the hands of civilians.

He said some of the arms used by the militiamen were smuggled into the country from the neighbouring country of Somalia.Addressing the media at police headquarters, he said security has been enhanced to ensure the tourism season is not disrupted.

"As we approach the season we have come up with methodologies to deal with the militia masquerading in the region aimed at instilling fear among locals and foreigners," said Adoli.The MRC have always denied such accusations and term them political.

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