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Al Shabaab suspect escapes in botched armed robbery

14 May 2014, 12:26 John Kioko

Kwale - Police at Ukunda gunned down a suspected robber while his two accomplices escaped with bullet wounds after a fierce fire exchange.

One of those who escaped is suspected to be a dangerous Al Shabaab militant by the name Ali Mwachala, who has been terrorizing the Diani business community.

According to police, the three were raiding a tourist’s residential house with intent to rob.

Speaking in Diani on Tuesday, Msambweni OCPD, Joseph Omijah said the three were armed with AK-47 rifles during the Sunday night incident.

He said that police were acting on a tip from members of public.

“We put a trap and waited for them to come because we had information that they were to raid the tourist’s house. They arrived in two motorcycles and we started engaging them but two escaped with gun shot injuries,” said Omijah.

He said the exchange of fire lasted a few minutes before they could manage to bring down one of them.

“Mwachala had told his colleagues to enter the compound first and then he would follow. It is like he sensed danger. When he realized there was an ambush, he turn around and left the scene,” said Omijah.

“It is an attack that was well planned by the criminals to steal some valuable items from the tourist’s residential house before we got the information and acted quickly,” added the OCPD.

However, Omijah said that police could not identify the one who was shot dead since he did not have any identification documents with him.

He urged local residents to volunteer information which can lead to arrest of the escapees saying most likely they live in the area.

“Whoever will see people with injuries seeking treatment should report to us so we can get them. These are our bothers and relatives but we should not hide them,” he noted.

The body of the deceased was taken to Coast general hospital as investigations into the incident begin.

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