South Sudan journalist shot dead: radio station

Gunmen in South Sudan have shot dead a radio journalist in the war-torn eastern state of Jonglei, colleagues said Friday.

Pow James Raeth, a correspondent for the independent Radio Tamazuj, was shot dead along with a friend in the town of Akobo by unknown gunmen as they walked to access Internet from an office, the station said.

The station quoted local government commissioner Tut Chol Rial as saying the killing was “not intentional” but was crossfire between two warring rival groups.

“We condemn the senseless killing of Pow James Raeth, somebody who was working for peace and for educating and informing the public,” Radio Tamazuj said in a statement.

The station called him a “talented and hard-working young man who showed so much promise.”

The US embassy in Juba offered their “sincere condolences to the friends, family and colleagues” of Raeth.

Reporters Without Borders ranks South Sudan as the 125th worst nation out of 180.

Rights groups have repeatedly warned that security forces have cracked down on journalists, suffocating debate on how to end a civil war in which tens of thousands of people have been killed in the past 17 months.

Fighting broke out in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings across the country.

Photo Credits : AFP

Four terror suspects arrested in Nyali and their vehicle detained

Anti-Terrorism Police Unite Officers have arrested four suspects among them a woman and detained their vehicle at City Mall Nakumatt in Nyali, Mombasa County.

Mombasa County Police Boss Robert Kitur says the four, two Arabs and two Africans, had been trailed by detectives for almost a week and are being interrogated by officers.

Details of their vehicle had been circulated last week.

This news comes in when Kenya is still mourning the victims of terrorism after a terror attack rocked Garissa town Thursday leaving 147 people dead and over 80 injured.

Photo courtesy Instagram

1530617_834564853263997_1483141227_n

 

Laughing Somali gunmen taunted victims in university massacre

Piles of bodies and pools of blood running down the corridors: survivors of the Kenya university massacre described how laughing gunmen taunted their victims amid scenes of total carnage.

Salias Omosa, an 20-year-old education student, said the victims were woken up at gunpoint in Thursday’s pre-dawn attack, and Muslims and non-Muslims picked out by “how they were dressed”.

“‘We don’t fear death, this will be a good Easter holiday for us,’ the attackers were shouting in Swahili, then shooting their guns,” Omosa recounted, still trembling with terror and sitting in the refuge of a military camp.

Omosa managed to escape amid the carnage at Garissa University, after seeing two of his friends executed by the Al-Qaeda-linked attackers, who he said were wearing masks and military-style uniforms.

“I have seen many things, but nothing like that,” said Reuben Nyaora, a clinical officer working for the aid agency International Rescue Committee (IRC).

“There were bodies everywhere in execution lines, we saw people whose heads had been blown off, bullet wounds everywhere, it was a grisly mess,” Nyaora told AFP.

Nyaora had rushed with colleagues from his normal work with an IRC ambulance team in the giant Dadaab refugee camp, some 90 kilometres (50 miles) away.

He was one of first frontline medics to enter university halls, providing first aid to both survivors and troops wounded in the heavy fighting.

“We were giving first aid during the fighting – and there were soldiers being shot right in front of us, as well as the casualties among the hostages,” the 32-year old Kenyan told AFP, his voice trembling.

“Then when we went into the halls, it was too horrible, too awful to imagine, and yet we saw it,” he said.

“Everyone seemed dead, but then as we talked, some students who had been hidden for hours came out – some from wardrobes, others from the ceiling, and then others who had lain down with the dead, covered in blood, hidden among their friends who had been killed.”

– Making women ‘swim in blood’ –

He described how he witnessed three women apparently dead, covered head to toe entirely in blood but in fact physically unharmed, pick themselves up from a pile of corpses.

“The ladies said the gunmen had screamed out in Swahili as they shot the men: ‘We have come to be kill and be killed,'” Nyaora said.

“Then they told the women to ‘swim in the blood'”, as though they were making fun of them, playing games and apparently enjoying the killing, he said, before moving on after apparently forgetting to shoot them too.

Amuna Geoffreys, a second year teaching student, was at a Christian prayer meeting when the shooting began, running to hide in a bush. But he could hear the chilling threats of the gunmen talking to colleagues just inside through a window.

As Geoffreys lay in terrified silence, the gunmen inside made his friends call their parents, to blame their imminent deaths on President Uhuru Kenyatta for having Kenyan troops in Somalia fighting the Shebab.

“The killers demanded people to call home and then say: We are dying, because Uhuru has remained defiant to stay in Somalia'”, he said.

“After they called their parents, there were shots, and then silence,” he said.

Photo Credits : AFP

Kenya ‘will not be intimidated’ by terrorists

Kenya’s interior minister on Friday vowed that the country would not bow to terrorist threats, a day after the massacre of 147 students by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab fighters.

“Kenya’s government will not be intimidated by the terrorists who have made killing innocent people a way to humiliate the government,” Joseph Nkaissery told reporters, speaking in front of the university campus in the northeastern town of Garissa.

“The government is determined to fight back the terrorists, and I am confident we shall win this war against our enemies.”

Somalia’s Shebab fighters carried out the attack, with all four of the gunmen detonating suicide vests after killing 147 people in the day-long seige.

Bodies still lay around the campus on Friday, as teams worked to collect all those killed, while troops checked the campus was safe after the day long battle.

“Our security officers are mopping up the college, to ensure it is safe to for students to come back to secure their documents and other property,” Nkaissery said, adding that the college had “closed indefinitely.”

Hundreds of students — many of whom escaped with little more than the clothes they were sleeping in when the gunmen attacked just before dawn — spent Thursday night at nearby military barracks, where they were fed and given clothes by the community in Garissa.

Several buses were due to transport the traumatised students back to their home areas, while the bodies of those killed were being flown back to the capital Nairobi.

A huge crowd of shocked survivors and relatives of some of those killed gathered at the gates of the university in Kenya’s northeastern town of Garissa, and AFP reporter at the scene said.

Dozens of family members also gathered Friday at the main Nairobi mortuary to identify their relatives.

The university siege marks the worst attack on Kenyan soil since the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi by Al-Qaeda, when 213 people were killed by a huge truck bomb.

The Shebab also carried out the Westgate shopping mall massacre in Nairobi in September 2013 when four gunmen killed at least 67 people in a four-day siege.

Photo Credits : AFP

President Uhuru orders training of 10,000 police recruits

Following the terror attacked that rocked the nation Thursday killing 147 people in Garissa, President Uhuru has ordered immediate enrolment of 10,000 police recruits.

Addressing the insecurity issue in the country, President Uhuru blamed shortage of security personnel on the rising cases of insecurity in the country.

The president nullified the court ruling that had blocked last year’s corruption marred recruitment and ordered immediate recruitment of the 10,000 officers.

In his statement Uhuru said, “I further direct the Inspector-General of Police to take urgent steps and ensure that the 10,000 recruits whose enrolment is pending, promptly report for training at the Kenya Police College, Kiganjo. I take full responsibility for this directive. We have suffered unnecessarily due to shortage of security personnel. Kenya badly needs additional officers, and I will not keep the nation waiting.”

Police arrest 10 Al Shabaab members, including two female suicide bombers

Ten suspected Al Shabaab terrorists, including two female suicide bombers, who were planning attacks in the country have been arrested, police has said.

“These 10 suspects were involved in recent terror attacks in Nairobi before they fled to Somalia, and now they have sneaked back,” police spokeswoman Zipporah Mboroki told reporters.

She said that the suspects were arrested while entering the country from Somalia in October. She said more details of the arrest will be provided at a later date.

Landlords have been urged to be on the look out for any suspicious people within their buildings.

 

Wanted terrorist ‘White Widow’ shot dead – reports

British female terrorist Samantha Lethwaite, dubbed the White Widow has reportedly been shot dead in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, several international news outlets said unverified reports from the Moscow news agency Regnum were that Lethwaite 30 was gunned down by a Russian sniper two weeks ago during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Lethwaite had been linked to the Westgate mall attack in September 2013 in which over 60 Kenyans lost their lives. She is believed to have converted to Islam in her teens and married Jermaine Lindsay in 2002. They had two children, the second of whom was born a month after Lindsay killed 26 people with a suicide bomb at King’s Cross in July 2005.

She gave birth to a third child in August 2009 and relatives said she moved away from her home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, afterwards.

One family source said she had gone to live in the north of England before moving abroad. In 2012, it was reported that the CIA and Kenya’s anti-terrorism unit had been working closely to hunt down the deadly white widow.

Court rules that firing of GSU officer while responding to Westgate attack was illegal

A Nairobi court has ruled that the dismissal of James Mwaniki who was one of the top officers who responded to an attack by terrorists on the Westgate shopping last year was illegal.

Mwaniki who served as an assistant commissioner of police in charge was kicked out of the force on September 26,2013 while he led a team of GSU officers who took on terrorists during an attack on Westgate in which 67 people were killed.

Mwaniki was actuallly sacked on September 3, but he was not informed of the decision until the day of the attack.

Judge Maureen Onyango ruled that it was illegal to dismiss Mwaniki as the reasons given in his dismissal letter were not substantial while directing that he be allowed to resume his job immediately. She further ordered that the government will meet the cost of the suit.

Read: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-194445/court-rules-firing-gsu-officer-while-responding-westgate-attack-was-illegal