NAIROBI, June 24 – Police have reported that they shot and killed 13 suspected gangsters in robbery-related incidents within Nairobi and Central Provinces on Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
The suspects were all gunned down in shoot-outs as they robbed or attempted to rob residents in the two provinces, police said.
Eight of them were shot dead in Nairobi during car jacking and mugging incidents, including four suspected thugs gunned down on Kirinyaga road at 3 am, 2 killed on Tom Mboya Street and two others who were shot dead in Githurai estate.
Kasarani and Central divisional police chiefs said four pistols were recovered in the incidents.
"We had two incidents involving the killing of six suspected thugs who have been notorious in carjacking and muggings in town," Central division’s Tito Kilonzi said of the Tom Mboya and Kirinyaga road shoot-outs.
Among those killed, Kilonzi said, are three suspects whom police had been hunting over a series of carjackings and other armed robberies in Nairobi.
We independently learnt that one of the slain men had been arrested twice and released under unclear circumstances between February and March this year.
In the Kasarani incident, the area divisional Police chief Jasper Ombati said those killed were equally notorious thugs.
He said they were part of a well-organized gang that had specialized in burglaries and mugging with neighbouring estates.
"Officers on patrol were tipped off that the gangsters were mugging pedestrians at Githurai but when they were accosted, they started running away while shooting at our officers, that was when they were killed," he said.
At least three burglaries are reported in the larger Kasarani estate on a daily basis and police linked the slain suspects to many of the incidents.
"In fact, some residents were able to positively identify bodies of the slain men as those of criminals who had either attacked them or their neighbours in the recent past," Ombati said in a telephone interview.
In Kirinyaga district, five suspected thugs were shot dead when they were reportedly found terrorizing patrons in bars and restaurants.
They mainly targeted bars and restaurants in remote trading centres in Kianyaga division.
Police said the thugs were confronted as they left a bar where they had robbed patrons of money and mobile phones.
Central Provincial Criminal Investigations Department (CID) chief Sebastian Ndaru said the thugs engaged officers in a cat-and-mouse chase as they searched for an escape route in the division.
"When they were encountered, they attempted to escape but our officers were able to catch up with them. They engaged them in a shoot-out and managed to gun down five of them," he said.
Ndaru said the thugs were armed with pistols and other crude weapons.
A man said to have been set free by a Nyeri Court recently was also found killed a few kilometres from where the shoot-out occurred.
Ndaru said detectives were investigating circumstances of his death.