Antiterrorism police on Tuesday shot dead a suspected Al-Shabaab terrorist in Kwale and recovered an assortment of weapons.
The suspect identified as Juma Athman Mwengo was fatally shot inside a house in Gazore Village in the Tiribe, Kwale County, in the dawn ambush that also saw his accomplice escape a police dragnet.
Matuga police boss Francis Nguli said the suspect was being sought over terror-related and criminal activities that have been reported in the county.
Police identified the suspect who escaped as Kassim Nasoro Shauti. They have so far launched a manhunt for him.
A statement by the police revealed that the incident was part of a proactive counterterrorism operation.
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Nguli said officers from Nairobi who had been tracking him down with the help of intelligence officials stormed the house where the suspects were hiding in an attempt to make an arrest but they turned violent prompting police to open fire.
‘’The officers ordered the suspects to surrender but instead defied the police and one of them [Mwengo] drew a machete to attack the officers. He was fatally shot but the other one escaped," he said.
Five machetes with labels in white ink written ‘kafiri’ and a black flag with Arabic writings similar to those used by terror groups of Al-Shabaab were seized from the house after a search.
The police chief said the suspects had been recruiting for terror gang in Kwale and neighbouring Mombasa County adding that intelligence reports had warned that the suspects were plotting an attack on non-locals and government installations.
In early 2017, police said the deceased had escaped the raid conducted in an area known as Likoni Shikaadabu where three military smoke jackets, two grenades ,10 rounds of ammunition and binoculars were recovered.
The officers said the suspect had also escaped another 2019 raid where three terror gang members were killed in Dudus in Likoni.
“We had intelligence information that the suspects were recruiting a terror gang in Kwale and Mombasa in readiness to launch an attack against non-locals and some of the government installations. The suspects had been linked to previous attacks in Mombasa,” he noted.
The body was moved to Kwale Hospital mortuary for postmortem as police launched a manhunt for the other suspect who fled.