Kenyan police on Tuesday killed two suspected members of a banned sect blamed for a string of recent murders and beheadings in a mounting crackdown across the East African nation.
Police Commander Tito Kilonzo said officers trailed suspected Mungiki gang members from the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi, and killed them after they refused to surrender.
“They were then accosted and killed on Race Course Road, when they failed to surrender and instead produced guns,” Kilonzo said.
He said one suspect armed with an AK-47 rifle escaped during the 8am local time shootout in which a police officer was wounded. Two toy pistols were recovered.
Once a religious group of dreadlocked youths who embraced traditional rituals, the Mungiki sect has fractured into a politically linked gang notorious for extortion and murder.
The group, banned in 2002, has been blamed for at least 40 murders since March. Police say they have killed at least 47 Mungiki members in the same period.
The state-run Kenya National Commission on Human Rights last month called on the government to declare a national crisis over a crime wave that has killed at least 300 people this year. — AFP