|Residents carry the body of a woman who was shot dead by a stray bullet as police officers were chasing drug peddlers in mathare slums. (Photo: Mbugua Kibera/Standard)|
By Cyrus Ombati
NAIROBI, KENYA: A planned police operation to arrest known drug traffickers in Nigeria area, Mathare slums, Nairobi turned tragic after a woman was shot dead in a confrontation with locals.
A team of police officers had raided the area Monday morning that is notorious with drug traffickers and consumption when they accidentally shot and killed the woman in a confrontation with some of the residents.
This prompted a daylong protest by the locals who withheld the body of the woman demanding that those responsible for her killing be arrested first.
Police had arrested two men that they say are behind the illegal business of drug trafficking in the area and were driving them away when the confrontation broke out.
Nairobi County police boss Benson Kibui said this forced the officers to shoot to the air to enable them get out of the place with the suspects.
“In the process, one person was fatally wounded which prompted a violent reaction. We will investigate to know how it happened,” said Kibui.
The running battles lasted for hours as the youths who were agitated demanded that those responsible for her killing be arrested. They also demanded the release of the two men who had been arrested.
Police hit back using teargas canisters and live bullets to disperse the youth in vain. Traffic flow on Juja Road was affected for hours as the confrontation lasted for hours.
Journalists were attacked in the confusion and robbed by the rowdy youths as police tried to use force to get the body.
A cameraman with Kiss Tv was attacked and robbed of his camera as the violence turned worse. Journalists were forced to flee in the confusion after it emerged the gangs were determined to injure and rob them.
Police managed to get the body out of the scene while firing to the air.
Nigeria area is notorious with drug trafficking and consumption and police say the most abused narcotic is heroin and cocaine.
The operation on the drug dens came as police said their hunt on wanted Nigerian trafficker Eneke Chimenze alias Anaeke Chimezie spread to Mombasa.