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At least nine killed, policeman is shot dead, in Nairobi crime wave

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- At least nine people including a police officer were killed in separate incidents in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Friday night amid a surge in crime in urban cities and towns.

Nairobi police boss Japheth Koome said the deceased police officer was on a mission to arrest gunmen in the sprawling Kayole residential estate.

"The police officer was shot and killed as he and his colleagues pursued a gang in Kayole," Koome said, noting that the officer who joined the service in 2013 was with his colleagues and had cornered suspects in a house when one of the gunmen jumped out firing and killed him.

Koome said the gang had been on a robbery spree before they were spotted, prompting a chase that turned fatal.

"We will not sit and watch our police officers and Kenyans being killed by thugs.

"Tell other gangsters their days are numbered," said Koome.

His remarks came as a video emerged showing police killing a suspect in an extrajudicial manner in Eastleigh neighborhood area where two suspects were killed.

The video capturing the killing drew mixed reactions online with some supporting it while others termed the incident extrajudicial.

Some locals said the gang was well known and was behind a number of violent robberies in the area.

Koome said the gang was part of the members of the Superpower group that operates in Eastleigh where they terrorize locals for money.

Superpower is a proscribed gang in Kenya.

"The gang has been behind a series of many robbery incidents in the area and we have information showing they were behind the killing of three people including a police officer and physically challenged man in Kayole," said Koome.

The police boss said he stood by his officers who were behind the incident.

"We will be ruthless to gunmen who kill innocent Kenyans," he said.

Also on Friday, three other suspects were killed by police in Pangani area in a botched robbery.

"The suspects had been mugging and robbing residents when an alarm was raised alerting police.

Police said three other suspects were killed in Utawala area in a botched robbery on Friday night closing a bloody day.

The police have been grappling with a new wave of crime including armed robberies, burglaries, carjacking and kidnappings.

Ordinary citizens, police and civic leaders have blamed social breakdown, high population density and availability of dangerous weapons for the surge in crime.

Up to 50 suspects have been killed by police and mobs in separate incidents in Nairobi in the last two months alone, according to crime records by the police.


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