Ten more suspects have been arrested in connection with the killing of three Kenya Defense Forces soldiers in Garissa in a police operation.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
By Cyrus Ombati
The ten have also been linked to the killing of six other police officers who have been killed in ambushes in Garissa Town in the past three months.
They were arrested in the on-going police hunt for terror suspects in the region. Police have been combing the town in search for suspects who have been linked to a series of attacks in Garissa and its environs.
Officials holding the suspects say some have confessed they are part of a larger network that had been sent from Somalia by the Al-Shabaab militants to “deal” with security agents over the military operations in their country.
“They are part of a larger gang of foreigners who have been behind these attacks,” said an officer aware of the case.
Another official said the suspects were named by an accomplice arrested on Saturday over the killing of the three soldiers on November 19.
Ibrahim Jelle Belle was charged in court however not required to plead to the murder charges as the prosecution pleaded for more time to conclude investigations.
Belle was arraigned before Principal Magistrate John Onyiego who remanded him at the Garissa police station.
The prosecution said they were likely to also charge him with the murder of the three police officers killed prior to the murder of the murder of the soldiers.
While applying for more time, the prosecution told the court that two soldiers who survived the shootings had positively identified the suspect as part of the gunmen who attacked them.
The suspect who is a Somali national was arrested on Saturday in Hulugho area near the Somalia-Kenya border as he tried to flee, police said.
But Belle said he was Kenyan from Ijara District and had never committed any crime against any government officer.
He told the Magistrate that he read politics and demanded that two chiefs and a police sergeant in Hulugho where he was arrested be available during his prosecution.
The case will be mentioned on December 9th at the Garissa High court.
Other sources said the suspect is among many Somalis who illegally obtained Kenyan documents and that a major investigation into the incident and others has been launched.
The killing of the soldiers prompted a police operation and sparked protests and riots in the town leaving property being destroyed.
A parliamentary group is investigating the incident and reaction to the same.
KDF has denied claims they harassed residents of Garissa and burnt property while hunting down assailants who had killed the soldiers.