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Gunmen kill policeman, steal his rifle in Kwale

13 January 2016, 09:30

Kwale - Security officers on Tuesday launched a manhunt for the armed gangsters who shot dead a policeman and stole his rifle in the coastal town of Kwale.

The officer was escorting a van ferrying maize flour when they were ambushed at Check Point location as they made a stopover along the Mombasa-Ukunda highway on Tuesday morning.

He was shot three times at close range and died on the spot. The gangsters managed to flee using a motorbike with the officer's loaded G3 rifle and unknown amount of cash.

Police have identified the slain officer as police constable Nelson Mwadime attached at Likoni police station.

Kwale County Commissioner Evans Achoki said they are investigating the motive of the gunmen.

"No arrest has been made so far, but police are in hot pursuit of the suspects. We are yet to establish their intention and we are treating the incident as normal robbery," Achoki said.

He said police officers are trailing the suspects who vanished to the neighbourhood and believed to be armed with an AK-47 rifle and pistol.

Read Also: Three charged for robbery, gang rape during Narok clashes

Achoki said the officers are usually hired to provide security escorts to traders ferrying goods. Sources within security agents indicated that the gunmen could be Al-Shabaab returnees and numbered them at three.

The returnees are blamed for systematic killing of security apparatus in the coastal city of Mombasa and Kwale.

Suspected Al-Shabaab returnees have in the past killed security agents in Mombasa and Kwale and robbed them of the rifle to plot future terrorist attacks.

Police warn that despite recent arrests of terror suspects, the coastal region is still vulnerable to terrorist attacks since hundreds of Kenyan youth were recruited to join Al-Shabaab groups in Kwale and Mombasa.

The government says armed attacks and kidnappings threaten the country's tourism industry, a key driver of the economy, that had bounced back after near collapse following the post-election violence nine years ago in which more than 1,200 people died.

Kenya's security forces have beefed up security across the country following credible leads that Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab are planning fresh attacks in the country.

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- Xinhua


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