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Police thwart Eastleigh heist, kill two

Police on Wednesday morning shot dead two suspected criminals and recovered a hand grenade, a pistol and five rounds of ammunition.

The two were shot in a gunfire exchange at Eastleigh 12th street as they prepared to stage a robbery at the Diamond Palace Hotel.

A third member of the gang escaped.

Residents of Eastleigh had suspected that the three were terrorists because of the grenade and guns recovered.

Terrorists

Nairobi Deputy PPO Moses Ombati said the police are pursuing the possibility that the suspects were terrorists.

“We have had criminals arming themselves to the extent of carrying grenades, but if there are other things which we can associate them with, we can still find out from the investigations,” said Mr Ombati.

He said they will explore any links between the three and the attack on Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan last year at Hidaya mosque.

“We will have to do finger printing, do their profiles and check their records so that we can know if actually they were involved in the incident and other incidents within Eastleigh. What I can say for now is that they were Kenyans,” said Mr Ombati.

The three were ambushed by police officers who had information of the planned robbery. The gang was targeting one of the hotel’s guests.

They were asked to identify themselves but instead started shooting at the officers prompting a gunfire exchange.

“They were targeting a specific person who was in the hotel and had cash which he was taking to a bank,” said Mr Ombati.

Pipeline

Elsewhere in Pipeline, two suspected robbers were killed and a Browning Pistol loaded with four bullets recovered from them.

One of the two was gunned down by police on patrol while the other one was lynched by members of the public as he tried to escape from the police on Tuesday night.

The two were accosted by police after members of the public reported their activities to the police.

Mr Kibui admitted cases of robberies are on the rise ahead of the Christmas festivities.