The Star (Nairobi)

27 March 2014

Kenya: Police Were Warned of Likoni Attack, Says Supkem

Photo: Capital FM
Police had earlier been warned of the Likoni attacks.

Police were informed, twice, of the impending attack on the Likoni church but never acted on the intel, a Muslim leader claimed yesterday. A Supkem official who sought anonymity said that they had information that police had been informed of the attacks on the church but never acted.

The official claimed that some youth, who are now in hiding had spotted the attackers but had been warned by police not to talk about the matter.

"On Saturday afternoon, the young men had met the three young men carrying weapons and they dropped a grenade and a confrontation ensued. They later ran into the mosque and changed clothes. On Sunday, they saw the same young men who they followed and on reaching near the church they sat somewhere and made a call. Someone came out of the church and after talking to them, the attack happened," the Supkem official claimed.

He added that the young men called the police and the area chief again, just before the attack but nothing was done. The Supkem official also claimed that there were suspicions that the attack was related to a family feud involving the church pastor and his former wife.

The pastor of the church that was attacked and his current wife were both killed in the attack. "It seems like a situation where someone used the current insecurity situation to commit their own crime," the Supkem official claimed.

Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa said on Tuesday evening that the Likoni church attackers will be shot on sight, sparking protest from human rights groups.

Marwa said it would be difficult to arraign the suspects in court as the attackers entered the church from the rear, making it difficult to identify any of them. "We must be fair here. Akipatikana unamumaliza on the spot (Finish him on the spot when you apprehend him)," said Marwa.

Police recently gunned down five hardcore gunmen. We also gunned down two and recover firearms," said Marwa. The county commissioner's hardened stand is thought to have stemmed from President Uhuru Kenyatta remarks in which he vowed to pursue the Likoni shooters to the very end.

Marwa also gave the Mombasa Police County boss Robert Kitur and his Administration Police counterpart Simon Arachi the go ahead to shoot armed robbers in Mombasa.

"There are two men in motorbikes and have guns. They have been harassing citizens. You have the orders to shoot them," said Marwa. Marwa was speaking at his office where he met over two hundred clergy men that included bishops, pastors and deacons on a discussion on security arrangements for churches.

The church leaders led by JCC pastor Wilfred Lai presented a memorandum to the police chiefs in which they asked for armed police protection in churches.

According to the memorandum seen by the Star, the clergy men have recommended for policemen to provide armed protection to a cluster of three or five churches depending on the number of worshippers.

Lai said the church would not be shaken by the attacks. Meanwhile human rights activist have asked for the resignation of the County Commissioner over his utterances.

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