Militant Islamist convicts re-arrested in Kenya

Three convicted militants, one of whom had taken part in a 2015 attack that killed 148 people, were recaptured on Thursday after they escaped from a maximum security prison in Nairobi, the directorate of criminal investigations said.

The three men were arrested as they tried to make their way to Somalia and were now being brought back to the Kenyan capital, the Director of Criminal Investigations, George Kinoti, told Reuters.

The escapees included, Mohamed Ali Abikar, sentenced to 41 years for a 2015 attack on Garissa University in eastern Kenya that killed 148 people, mostly students.

The two other escapees from Kamiti Maximum Security Prisons were Joseph Juma Odhiambo, jailed for trying to join Somali militant Islamist group al Shabab in 2019, and Musharaf Abdalla Akhulunga, arrested for his participation in a foiled 2012 attack on Parliament.

Police had described all three escapees as “dangerous” and offered a 60 million Kenyan shilling ($535,240) reward for information that could lead to their recapture.

The group raised suspicions when they sought directions to Boni Forest, close to the Somali border, the Daily Nation reported. The escapees looked disheveled and one was limping, the Daily Nation said, quoting witnesses.

On Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta sacked the country’s prisons boss, Wycliffe Ogallo, over the escape, Kenyatta’s office said in a statement.

Eight people who worked at the prisons were arraigned on Tuesday over their role in the escape, according to a document from the Director of Public Prosecutions seen by Reuters. -Reuters

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