Three terror convicts who escaped from Prison in Kenya arrested in remote village

The three are believed to have been heading to Somalia.

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The three terror convicts, who on Sunday escaped from the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison located in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, have been arrested in Enzio forest in Mwingi East, located within the country’s Kitui County. The three were arrested following a tip-off from the public and are believed to have been heading to Somalia.

Security agencies in the county were said to have been on red alert, after locals reported that they had spotted the three fugitive convicts. Kitui County police commander, Leah Kithei, on Thursday morning confirmed that all security agencies in the region, including chiefs and their assistants, had been stationed.

“The information has also been shared with counterparts in neighbouring Tana River and Garissa counties,” Ms Kithei told journalists.

Locals reported spotting the three at Malalani shopping centre in the expansive county; they said the three, who looked exhausted and thirsty, bought a lot of food stuff from local shops and paid by cash. The shopping centre is about 100 kilometres East of Kitui town, in Kitui East Constituency near the border of Tana River County, which borders the South Kitui Game Reserve believed to be a hideout for terror suspects.

Witnesses say the convicts raised suspicions when they asked for directions to Boni Forest in Lamu County. One of the escapees was said to have swollen legs and limping, in what many suspect was as a result of trekking long distances.

“They were asking how they can connect to the Garissa or Tana River counties from the area,” said a trader at the market who spoke to local media.

The convicts were said to have no luggage with them but one of them was seen holding a small gunny bag with what looked like light clothes.

The three escaped from the highly guarded Kamiti Maximum Security Prison after removing a brick on the wall of their cell. They were additionally said to have used various devices to create makeshift ropes that they used to scale two high walls around the correctional facility.

Their brave escape saw several of the prison’s officers arrested for allegedly aiding their escape. On Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta also directed the Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’I, to spare no resource in pursuing and capturing the escapees. He urged all State investigative agencies to bring to account every person found to have been involved in the prison break.

Wycliffe Ogalo, the Commissioner-General of the Kenya Prisons Service, was also fired Wednesday in connection with the incident, with the Head of State appointing Brigadier (Rtd) John Kibaso Warioba as the new prisons boss.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations had offered a Ksh.60 million reward to anyone who would volunteer information that would lead to the convicts’ arrest.

The three convicts include Musharaf Abdalla, who was convicted of attempting to attack the country’s parliament in 2012; Joseph Juma Odhiambo, who was arrested in 2019 at the border between Kenya and Somalia for planning to join the terror group Al-Shabab; and Mohamed Abdi Abikar, who was convicted for his role in the terror attack on Garissa University in April 2015. That attack killed at least 148 people, most of them being students.

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