Mombasa, KENYA: Police in Likoni Mombasa county are holding 13 people suspected to be members of a gang terrorizing residents; they were arrested in the Celtel area.
Police also impounded several machetes, knives and hammers from the suspects.
Likoni police boss Willy Simba confirmed the suspects belong to outlawed watalia criminal gang.
The suspects were arrested at 4 am Sunday morning following a tip off from the public who alerted the police, after they were allegedly spotted ready to carry out a robbery.
Watalia gang members is part of criminal gang of wakalikwanza and wakali wao who controlled some parts of Likoni area.
Victims who had been attacked by the suspects thronged at Likoni police station to identify the suspects who were paraded.
Police identified the suspects as Juma Mdoe, Ali Ramadhan Bakari Said Steve jimmy ,Chengo Fred Mulanda,Omar Hamisi Ali Mohammed,Elnino Musembi,Ali Kalumbe,Ali George.
Mr Simba said the underage suspects will be taken to Tononoka courts of children while the rest will be arraigned at Mombasa high court to face charges of possessing weapons.
“We got information from the public that there were a gang regrouping to cause mayhem in the area,we quickly mobilize our officers from various departments and we managed to arrest 13 of them,the crackdown will continue,” said the police boss.
Family members and parents thronged at Likoni police station seeking the release of the suspects who were part of their families, but were turned away by police.
Some were heard saying their children were arrested as they were coming from morning prayers held at the mosque.
Police dismissed claims asking them to explain why were they armed with weapons.
“Parents need to be responsible with their children,after we arrested them they are the first one to arrive here,but we want to caution them we will also arrest them with their suspects,” said mr Simba.
“We are now revising new ways to deal with this gang before the election period.we are well prepared and we gone a win this war,” added Mr Simba.