Kenya’s authorities have issued shoot-to-kill order for anybody found perpetrating acts of terrorism in Mombasa amid increased surveillance on criminals causing insecurity in the tourism resort city.
Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa on Tuesday night issued the orders after holding a meeting with church leaders in Mombasa and announced a similar meeting with Muslim leaders on Wednesday ahead of a joint meeting on Friday.
“We can’t arrest terrorists and take them to court, who is going to be our witness. Let’s be fair here, we can’t allow criminals to terrorize people. They will be shot on sight,” Marwa ordered.
The shoot-to-kill order followed Sunday church attack that left at least six worshippers killed and 17 others critically wounded in the coastal city of Mombasa.
Marwa said the police are under firm instruction to intensify surveillance and manhunt for the gunmen behind the inhumane attack.
He said the government is finding it difficult to prosecute terror suspects or find witness to testify in the case hence shoot- to kill order.
“The terrorism 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 few bishops and Imams to bring about peace between the two parties,” Marwa said.
The move comes after Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku announced that an additional 500 police officers will be deployed with immediate effect in Nairobi, Mombasa and their environs to enhance security and surveillance to thwart any terror threats across the two major cities.
He said other security organs will support the exercise which is aimed at ensuring the East African nation, once an oasis of peace in the region, is safe.
Lenku said security operation mounted in the coastal city of Mombasa to track and arrest suspects of the church attack last Sunday continues and so far 109 suspects have been arrested.
“I appeal to Kenyans to always member security is a shared responsibility and citizens should cooperate with law enforcement agencies at all times,” he said on Tuesday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has also vowed that his government will take decisive action against all those engaging in terror activities.
The President said he was pained by the actions of criminals who opened fired on worshippers in a Mombasa church last Sunday, adding that the government will use all its machinery to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.
“Your days are numbered and we will come for you,” said the President as he announced that security agencies will take the sternest actions against those engaging in terror activities.
Mombasa police commander Robert Kitur said on Wednesday that the police have intensified patrols to deal with Al-Shabaab terror group.
“We are hunting down for more suspects directly linked with terror activities in the county we urge for local support,” Kitur said by telephone.
He said security apparatus are on higher alert following foiled terror attack in the coastal city and recovery of a vehicle with explosives.
Two terror suspects linked to a vehicle that was found laden with explosives have been arraigned before court facing seven counts, including a plot to murder.
The two, Abdiaziz Abdullah Abdi and Isaak Noor Ibrahim, were also charged with being members of the Al-Shabaab terror group and for being illegally in possession of firearms.