18 January 2014

Kenya: AP Narrates How He Shot At Terrorists During Westgate Attack

Photo: Capital FM
Rising smoke from the Westgate mall following heavy gunfire and blasts (file photo).

AN AP who was at the Westage Mall during the September 21 terror attack told a court how he shot one of the attackers in an exchange of fire. Constable Ali Miraj told the tmagistrate Daniel Ochenja that he was at the mall with his colleagues to collect money to escort for banking.

He said he first saw two armed people who he mistook for plainclothes police offiers or the Recce Unit. He said when he signalled them by raising his hand up and asked them what was happening, they started shooting at him. The officer told the court that he took cover and started shooting at them.

He said he injured one of them in the leg. Miraj said during the shooting, he ran out of ammunition and sought morefrom his colleague Wilfred Kavati. The two APs are attached to Dagoretti, Uthiru chief's camp. The court heard that the two officers managed to get out of the mall immediately other police and KDF arrived at the scene to rescue the victims.

Miraj said he was not injured in the shoot out. Two senior state lawyers Edwin Okello and James Warui applied for the case to continue on January 27 and 28 as earlier fixed. Ochenja granted the request. He said before the next hearing the court will visit the mall. The parties to the case agreed to visit the mall on January 21 at 8.30pm.

This followed an application by the prosecution for the court to visit the scene before other witnesses testify in the case. He made the application in a case in which Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Adan Mohamed Ibrahim alias Adan Abdikadir Adan alias Adan, Omar Liban Abdulle and Hussein Hassan Mutafa have denied related terror charges.

They are also facing charges of supporting a terrorist group in carrying out the attack at Westgate, where more than 67 people died and 200 others injured. The four suspects were denied bail. They will remain in remand until the hearing and determination of the case. They were denied bail following objection by the prosecution that if released on bail, they will not turn up for the trial.

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