• Police raided an apartment at dawn where two suspects were believed to have been hiding.
• They are believed to have left Somalia war fields in February and have been on the police watch list.
A wanted Shabaab suspect escaped a dawn police raid as his accomplice was arrested in Tudor, Mombasa, on Wednesday.
Reports indicate the two had left Somalia war fields in February.
One of the suspects, who has been identified as Salim Bunda Karim, is nursing injuries at Coast General Hospital after being shot trying to escape.
More than a dozen Anti-Terrorism Police Unit officers in more than six cars raided Municipal flats in Tudor Mwisho at 5.30am, shot in the air and commanded everyone in the vicinity to remain indoors, residents narrated.
The officers were in plainclothes while others donned bulletproof vests and balaclavas. They were carrying pistols. Going by descriptions, the detectives were a team of Recce squad and ATPU officers.
The detectives are said to have knocked on the wrong door mistakenly, giving one suspect a chance to escape before they blew up the metal doors of the right house.
They hurled tear gas inside the house which burned two sofa sets and ransacked all rooms, a woman inside the flats said. She, however, denied any knowledge of them.
“We were ordered to sleep on the floor while we chocked on the tear gas with our children,” the woman said, refusing to disclose her name for fear that the detectives would come for her.
Karim is reported to have slithered out of the house disguised as a woman in a Muslim ‘buibui’ but was corned a few meters trying to gain access to another house.
Realising it was the end of the road for him, he took a knife tried to kill himself before police shot his right hand near the elbow and right leg, then arrested him.
When the Star visited the scene, the house was full of soot.
Local breakfast snacks ‘mahamri’ could the seen on the floor indicating the family was still in shock at around 9am, nearly two hours after the raid.
Urban subcounty police commander Eliud Monari said Karim had been on the police watch list.
“They have been looking for this person for some time,” Monari told reporters while confirming the incident.
At the Coast General Hospital where Karim was admitted at the emergency ward, scores of armed uniformed police officers guarded him.
Another woman who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter said the officers pointed a pistol to her head and told her to remain indoors when she tried to peep through the window.
The Star has learned that even a local OCS was turned back even after showing his work ID.
“They didn’t want anybody around. They surrounded the house and started shooting,” a youth who identified himself only as Shariff said.
Intelligence reports indicate the presence of active terror cells in Mombasa, Kwale and Malindi.
Last month, police gunned down an al Shabaab suspect in Kwale and recovered bomb-making materials.
Edited by R.Wamochie