Kenyan police on Tuesday arrested at least 14 members of a youth gang suspected of carrying out reprisal attacks in the port city of Mombasa.
Simon Thirikwa, police commander in charge of Nyali, a sub-county in the coastal region, said the arrests took place to pre-empt an attack planned by the members of the juvenile gang, which has gained notoriety for its attack on unarmed civilians.
Police and other security agencies have often laid blame on the members of the gang, named Wakali Chee which means “tough and violent”.
The gang regularly carries out attacks using knives and inflicting deep cuts on civilians during attacks using machetes.
“They had planned to attack residents. It was a well-planned attack that was to take place on Tuesday night. However, police immediately acted on the information and raided four houses and arrested the suspects,” Thirikwa told reporters.
He said a woman stormed the Nyali police station where the 14 were held demanding the release of his son arrested during the raid.
“As law enforcers, we are prepared and determined to provide security to all during this festive season, and we are not going to allow criminals room to cause havoc,” Thirikwa said.
He said the upsurge in gang crime in the coastal city of Mombasa is linked to thriving drug trade. Thirikwa said the continued crackdown on drugs trade and machete-wielding youth gangs have led to arrests of dozens.
During the latest raid, 13 of the gang and their team-leader were among those arrested, Police said.
The police commander said some of the deadly weaponry, including the machetes and knives with blood-stains were recovered from the suspects.
He said the weapons have been used in previous attacks which left mostly civilians with serious injuries. Enditem