Two gunned down in raid

What you need to know:

  • Police recovered three grenades, a pistol and 37 rounds of ammunition

Police on Sunday gunned down two terror suspects in a dawn raid on a house in Majengo, Mombasa.

A woman, believed to be the wife of one of the suspects, sustained serious bullet injuries.

The officers broke into Mr Omar Faraj’s house in Mwembe Tanganyika after a tip-off from a man who had been arrested carrying arms on a bus to Mombasa.

The man, who was also killed in yesterday’s firefight, was seized at Mariakani on Saturday while in possession of a pistol fitted with a target beam and silencer, 37 rounds of ammunition, grenade, binoculars, Global Position System and a mask. He allegedly led police to Mr Faraj’s house.

But police could not explain the circumstances in which the suspect was killed.

During the operation, which began at around 1am, the officers said they recovered two hand grenades.

They fired several times into the house, shattering window panes and electronic equipment. The also lobed tear gas canisters through the window.

According to a neighbour, police used a Land Rover to pull open the metal grill door before entering the house.

Several cartridges were also recovered in and outside Mr Faraj’s house, which is just a few metres from Masjid Musa, a mosque where Sheikh Aboud Rogo, who was killed about three months ago by unknown assailants, used to hold sermons.

Major breakthrough

Coast deputy criminal investigation officer John Gachomo confirmed the raid and described it as a major breakthrough for the police.

“There were plans to use these weapons and they could have caused a big damage,” said Mr Gachomo.

He defended the use of force and said it was due to the resistance they encountered.
“Four people who are armed managed to escape the police dragnet in Majengo and we are pursuing them,” said Mr Gachomo, adding that they were still investigating the other suspect killed in the operation.

“He did not give us more information regarding his activities,” he said.

The family of Mr Faraj and a section of leaders in Mombasa condemned the raid and asked the government to come clean on the reason behind the killing of an “innocent person”.

His brother claimed that the deceased used to work as a butcher in Mwembe Tayari.

“My brother was a humble person and had never participated in any crime. As a family, we regard the death as cold blood murder,” Mr Saad Faraj said.
Local MPs Masoud Mwahima (Likoni) and Sheikh Mohammed Dor (nominated), Mombasa deputy mayor John Mcharo and Shariff Nassir Foundation chairman Abdulswamad Nassir condemned the raid on a person they described as innocent.

The suspect who led police to Mr Faraj’s house was arrested after police, acting on a tip-off, intercepted the bus he was travelling in at Mariakani.

A thorough search of the bus unearthed the weapons.

“After making the discovery, the officers summoned Kaloleni police boss Beatrice Gachagoh who escorted the suspect in tight security to Mombasa,” the sources said.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that the suspect initially took anti-terrorism officers to a Mtwapa terror cell prior to the dawn raid in Majengo.