Five people were killed at Kisauni and Mishomoroni slums on Wednesday night as residents engaged suspected members of a local criminal gang in a battle.
Yesterday, the police said those killed were members of a gang that has been terrorising residents.
The gang launched attacks on the slums in retaliation to the killing of one of their members by residents on Tuesday.
“Those killed were among the youth who were coming from a cemetery in Junda to bury a gang member who was killed by a mob on Tuesday,” said Kisauni sub-county police commander Julius Kiragu.
Kiragu said three of the suspects were killed by residents while the other two were shot dead by the police as they escaped. He said three residents were injured during the 7.30 pm incident.
However, some sources said about ten people were injured while others said the number was higher. The attacks were attributed to a criminal gang christened Wakali Kwanza.
“Five of the gang members have been killed, three by a mob while two were fatally injured by police as they escaped at the seashores before they succumbed. Some of the suspects escaped using boats,” said Kiragu.
Reports indicated that the over 30 youth, some donning military-like attire and wearing masks, launched the attacks on locals whom they accused of killing of their colleague.
They started slashing anyone in sight at Milango Saba. They also broke into shops.
“We have killed three today. Police have killed another two,” said one of the residents who only identified himself as Kenga.
Tension remained high in the two slums as residents said they feared further attacks.
The situation has been compounded by power blackouts residents said are making it easy for criminals to attack and rob them.
Among those who sustained injuries was a university student. She sustained deep cuts in the head and shoulder. She was attended to at Hassan Joho Hospital before she was transferred to Coast General Hospital.
Police records indicated that three other victims were treated at Vikwatani Health Centre. The police said one of the victims was in critical condition.
Mr James Ndungu, a community policing committee member at Mshomoroni, said he saw eight people, including two women, who’d been injured. In November last year, over 10 people were injured in a similar gang attack in Nyali and Kisauni sub-counties.
Kiragua said several machetes and other crude weapons were recovered from the slain suspects but assured residents of heightened security.
“We have taken enough measures to ensure there will be no more attacks,” he said.
Another witness who identified herself only as Mwanajuma said she came face to face with the attackers.
She said the bare-chested men ordered her to surrender all the money she had.
“I begged them not to hurt me then one of them, who appeared to command the group, ordered them to leave her alone,” she said.
A Ms Auma said she lost all her fried fish worth Sh5,000 and cash during the incident.
Ms Auma said she had just delivered her goods at her premises when she saw people running in all directions. She also took off. When the dust had settled, her fish and money were nowhere to be seen.
“I saw people wearing masks and armed with pangas coming towards me. I ran as fast as I could,” she said.
She added: “As I ran, I could see the gang members slashing people.”
Mr Michael Juma, a Boda Boda operator, said he witnessed the group attack several people. “It appears they were on a mission to attack and rob whoever they came across. They looted several shops,” said Juma.
Juma said he was among residents who mobilised locals to fight the gang members who were eventually subdued. They tracked down three of them and killed them.
“We pursued them for more than four kilometres. They started dropping their weapons as they escaped. Some of them even tried to hide into residents’ homes,” Juma said.
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