NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 6- Police on Sunday recovered a package containing explosive chemicals believed to be used in making Improvised Explosive Devices in Eastleigh 7th street as a government crackdown on illegal immigrants continued in earnest.
Nairobi County Police Commander Benson Kibue said the occupant of the room had escaped, but officers found documents showing that he was a Somali refugee registered at the Dadaab camp.
“The chemical is extremely explosive; we ask members of the public to cooperate so that together we can maintain our security,” he said.
Kibue added that police had launched a manhunt for the suspect as they intensified an operation dubbed ‘Usalama Watch’ aimed at flushing out criminal elements from Nairobi following a spate of terror attacks and other incidences.
More than 1,000 people have been arrested since the swoop started. On Saturday alone, 600 people were arrested for lack of identification documents. Police say 355 were released while the rest were to be taken to court on Monday.
Eastleigh residents have welcomed the security swoop but urged the government to ensure it only targeted those involved in crime without harassing innocent Kenyans.
David Mureithi who leaves along 7th street in Eastleigh told Capital FM News that only a few of the residents were involved in crime saying the operation may help in curbing this.
“The rate of insecurity here has been high to the extent that women and children cannot walk alone in the streets; we hope the situation will change and those involved in crime be arrested,” he said.
“There are many groups here… some are called ‘super power’, ‘sitaki kujua’ and many others,” he said, explaining that many criminals had coalesced into gangs.
Mohammed Abdi, also a resident, commended the police for the operation but challenged security agencies to be proactive and not to react to situations.
He also cautioned police to be careful so that the operation does not appear to be targeting members of a particular community.
Meanwhile, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Muhamud has said that the Al-Shabaab terror group is a dying horse which is continuously suffering defeats.
Speaking when he joined President Kenyatta as Kenya Airways Dreamliner jet landed in Nairobi, the Somali President said his government was committed to the elimination of the terror group and that it needs support and help from its partners.
“Al-Shabaab is losing; it is losing its training grounds, its recruitment and its finances. Al-shabab is doing the last kicks, what you see are kicks of a dying horse” he said.
He said terrorism is a global challenge that knows no boundaries noting that the terror group had only found a foothold in Somalia when the country had no functional government.
“This is the country which received Somali people during their difficult times, it received Somali businessmen when they had nowhere to operate from,” he said while applauding the country of its enormous support.