Police issue shoot to kill order on terrorism suspects

By Stanley Mwahanga

MOMBASA, KENYA: Police have widened search for perpetrators of Sunday church shooting in Likoni, Mombasa to the neighbouring Kwale and Kilifi as the Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa declared a shoot to kill order on all terrorism suspects.

Marwa claimed that it is counter-productive to take terror suspects to court because it is very difficult to prosecute them or find witnesses in their prosecution.

According to Marwa witnesses fear to testify in terror trials or terrorists kill many people who could have been witnesses to their crimes.

Following a prolonged two hours meeting between Mombasa Christian leaders and the provincial administration, Marwa ordered the police to shoot and kill any criminal in the county found terrorising residents saying that the government will no longer wait for innocent lives to be killed.

Speaking directly to the Mombasa County Commander, Robert Kitur, Marwa said the shoot to kill order had been prompted by the fact that criminals gangs had infiltrated the county and it was fair to kill the criminals as it would bring to justice they deserve on behalf of the victims.

He said the police were also on the lookout for two hard core criminals who were roaming the County even though he didn’t disclose whether they were terrorists but said the police are trailing their whereabouts.

So far police have killed seven hard core criminals on their list this month only with the latest two having been shot on Sunday on the day of the Likoni church attacks, according to Marwa.

Marwa said that operation to look for the attackers of last Sunday shooting in which six worshippers were killed was still ongoing and that the government was on toes and had moved into Kombani and Similani areas of Kilifi County. It is not clear what parts of Kilifi the alleged operation is targeting.

He disclosed that security at the Likoni channel had been heightened following the attacks and there is now 24 hour surveillance at the Channel.

The provincial administration and the County Security committee are also planning to bring together Christian leaders and Muslims leaders to quell the rising tension between the two religious denominations.

“This challenge should bring us together not divide us, we have planned to meet Muslims leaders today and on Friday we will host a joint meeting between a select few bishops and Imams to bring about peace between the two parties,” Marwa said.

Mombasa Church Forum Chairman and Jesus Celebration Centre, Bishop Wilfred Lai said even though the Church would not be shaken by any attacks on its followers he called on the government to provide more security to the institutions.

“Those who want to threaten the church let them know that the Church will not be shaken and we won’t stop coming to church because of terrorist attacks,” Lai said.

He said the Church was united as ever and disclosed that the church was going to work with the government to ensure that security around the County is maintained.