Seven wardens from a highly guarded Kenyan prison in the capital Nairobi have been arrested following the escape of three terrorists on Monday, said an official.
Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i confirmed the arrests following a visit to the high-security Kamiti prison late on Monday, without providing any more details. He said the concerned authorities would be making more arrests as investigations into the escape continue.
“We will not only follow the way investigations will direct us but we will act resolutely to ensure this kind of recklessness will not happen again because it exposes our people.
“There is a certain level of irresponsibility we have to deal with,” he admitted.
Matiang’i also announced a manhunt for the terrorists across the country, saying the jailbreak was “abetted by laxity and incompetence”.
On Monday, a Kenyan sentenced for involvement in one of the country’s worst militant attacks and two other prisoners detained for terror-related charges escaped the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison.
Musharaf Abdalla Akhulunga, known as Zarkawi, is another escapee who was arrested in 2012 for participating in a failed terrorist attack on the parliament building in Nairobi.
Joseph Juma Odhiambo, known as Yusuf, was arrested in November 2019 in Somalia while he was attempting to enlist with the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab terror group.
“We are all mobilized and we have sent messages across the country and all exit and possible movement points out of the country. We are going to conduct a massive manhunt for those three. They are dangerous criminals and we have to get them and we are going to get them,” Matiang’i said.
Kenyan police offer a reward of 60 million shillings ($535,000) to anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of the three escapees.
Kenya contributes with troops to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, which has weakened al-Shabaab, a terror group that has been fighting to overthrow the Somali government for years.
The group vowed to carry out terror attacks in Kenya until it pulls out its soldiers from Somalia.
In September 2013, al-Shabaab killed 67 people in a four-day siege at the high-end Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.