Kenya kills wanted Al-Shabaab figure in shootout

A Kenyan security person walk past a police vehicle damaged by a blast killing Kenyan police officers at the Garissa county, eastern Kenya, May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

Kenya security agencies have killed wanted al-Shabaab fighter following covert operation in neighbourhood Kwale town of the coastal region.

According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the operative identified as Mohamed Rashid Mwatsumiro was eliminated on Friday in a shout out at his home.

“After neighbours tipped, police launch operation to hunt down Mohamed Rashid Mwatsumiro alias Modi, but he was killed during the ensuing shootout, a corporal was injured and is currently receiving treatment in hospital,” the statement reads in part.

The statement confirmed that the gun battle between the security forces and the suspected has left an officer wounded.

Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai said the 30-year-old man had escaped their dragnet, recently in March.

“Security officers have been on the trail of Modi for several months and this is the culmination of the effort to track down the criminal,” he said.

He added that the killing of Mwatsumiro was as a result of the ongoing operations in the Coast to flush out al-Shabaab operatives and gangs holding the region hostage.

According to a Kenyan police report, Mwatsumiro joined Al-Shabaab while in high school and rose through the ranks to head the 10-member Likoni cell.

By 2017, he was radicalising youth in Shika Adabu Likoni, preparing them to join Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

A year later in 2018, he was training the recruits at Shimba Hills and facilitating their journey to Somalia.