Police launch offensive in terror war
More than 50 anti-terrorism police officers raided a Mombasa suburb on Sunday morning and ransacked three houses of suspected terrorists.
The officers, who were in full police combat gear, smashed open doors and windows to gain entry into the houses located in Kisauni Msikitini.
Pieces of glass were strewn all over the floors, wardrobes and suitcases left open and clothes and other household items scattered around.
“We were woken up by the police who demanded that we open the doors for them. When we declined, they smashed their way in,” said Ms Mariam Mzee whose house was raided.
Their request to the raiders to identify themselves were ignored, as the officers, instead, demanded that they produce terrorists and weapons hidden in the houses, she added.
“They used explosives to blast through some of the doors and the explosions illuminated the whole area. We feel that this is unconstitutional and demand that the government takes action,” she said.
“My husband and our four children were ordered to lie on their bellies and they stepped on our backs pointing guns at us.”
Her husband Mr Hussein Machasu said his family was traumatised by the two-hour ordeal and wondered why security agents, who are supposed to do their work professionally, were terrorising the public.
Kisauni MP Rashid Bedzimba condemned the raid, terming it as harassment and illegal. He said police chiefs in the county have denied knowledge of the raid.
“How can more than 50 heavily armed police officers raid homes and brutalise residents when the chief officers are not aware? I called the area OCPD, Mombasa OCPD, the anti-terrorism boss and every senior police officer and they all said they did not know about the raid. How can this happen? Are we safe in this country?” he asked.
He said there were sinister motives behind the raid by the anti-terrorism squad.
“Anti-terror officers have the habit of killing suspects and we suspect their mission here was to kill someone,” he added.
Mr Bedzimba later took the affected family members to the Nyali Police Station to record statements.
The MP asked residents to remain calm as he pursued the matter with the relevant security departments.
He, however, warned that should the authorities fail to provide a sufficient explanation about the raid, the residents would hold demonstrations.
Efforts to contact County Commissioner Nelson Marwa and other senior police officers for comments did not succeed as they did not answer calls to their mobile phones.