NO TAKING CHANCES

I'm employed to kill or be killed, soldier tells court

Hassan Mire gives testimony in case where he shot a civilian dead in Garissa in 2018

In Summary
  • The officer was testifying in an inquest into the death of Abdullahim Kassif Yusuf. 
  • The officer told the court that the deceased ignored his warning to stop.
Milimani law courts
Milimani law courts
Image: FILE

"Your honour, I am employed to kill or to be killed.” 

Those were the words of KDF soldier Hassan Mire during an inquest into the death of a civilian in Garissa in 2018.

Mire narrated to court how he shot Abdullahim Kassif Yussuf dead after the man attempted to grab his gun at the Garissa military camp two years ago. 

Mire is a KDF officer attached to forward maintenance area military camp in Garissa county.

He told Milimani senior principal magistrate Esther Kimilu that he shot an unknown person twice in the chest after the man attempted to grab his rifle.

He died on the spot.

The officer was testifying in an inquest into the death of Yusuf. 

Mire told the court that the deceased ignored his warning to stop.

He said the incident occurred on August 1, 2018 at the main gate of the military camp at around 1.30am.

Mire recalled that on that day while on duty as sentry guard duty officer together with his colleagues, one unknown man came towards where they were guarding.

"As usual we require any person approaching our sentry to identify himself or herself the moment they enter the first gate," he said.

He said in this case, Yusuf was asked to identify himself but he ignored the warning and instead attempted to grab his AK47 rifle prompting him to shoot him twice in the chest.

"The deceased tried to run away after trying to snatch my rifle despite shooting two warning shots in the air," Mire said.

The court heard that the shots fired by Mire led to Yusuf's death as he shot on target after he saw the deceased fall down and tried to remove something from his pocket.

“After shooting the deceased, the guard commander took over the scene where all senior officers and other officers came to the scene,” the court was told.

Victim’s lawyer Steve Mogaka questioned why the officer did not shoot the deceased on the legs to immobilise him.

The witness confirmed that the bullet landed on the deceased's chest and not the legs.

While answering questions by Mogaka, the officer confirmed that he shot the deceased to kill and not to immobilise him. "Your honour, I am employed to kill or to be killed,” Mire said.

He said he used his colleague's AK47 to shoot the deceased on the chest twice because Garissa is an operational area targeted by armed terror group al Shabaab.

He said he could not take a chance with a person who ignored his warning to stop and identify himself.

 

-Edited by SKanyara