Kenya: Shootout as Isiolo Police Arrest 2, Seize Grenades and 128 Bullets

22 February 2021

Police in Isiolo County on Sunday night arrested two people after finding them with an AK-47 rifle, two hand grenades and 128 bullets in Merti, Isiolo County.

A multi-agency security team acting on tip from the public stopped the two on Yamicha-Duma road as they travelled in a Toyota Probox car.

Two vehicles, including one occupied by Mr Abdi Fatah Ibrahim and Yusuf Mohamed, sped off when police officers flagged them down, raising suspicion.

A police report seen by the Nation indicates that a hot pursuit ensued and that the two suspects opened fire on the officers, triggering an exchange that lasted for minutes before they were cornered.

After the two surrendered, a police search in the car found items including five magazines, nine magazine pouches, a military jungle belt, two mobile phones and several pen knives.

Isiolo County police boss Joseph Kigen said the suspects were placed in their custody for interrogation.

Arraignment

Police are also pursuing the vehicle in which other suspects fled the scene.

"We are grateful to residents for sharing the information. I appeal to them to continue reporting suspicious persons so that officers respond and prevent crimes," said Mr Kigen.

He said the suspects will likely be arraigned on Tuesday and charged with being in possession of firearms.

This is not the first time a cache of weapons has been found in Merti.

In 2018, police foiled a major terrorist attack after fighting off gunmen, killing one and arresting two. They found a cache of arms including 36 grenades and five automatic rifles.

The officers also impounded a car which was rigged up with explosives.

Investigations showed the car was headed to Nairobi where the terrorists planned to use it as a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED).

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