NAIROBI, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police on Wednesday shot dead five gangsters in the outskirts of Nairobi as the operation to get rid the city off thugs intensified.
Regional police Commander Moses Ombati said the thugs had raided a mobile money transfer service (M-Pesa) shop in Dagoretti district in Nairobi where they walked away with 590 U.S. dollars and unknown amount of mobile phone airtime.
"The shop's owner raised the alarm and our officers who were patrolling responded in time, promoting an exchange of fire. One thug was killed while 4 others escaped," Ombati told Xinhua by telephone.
"But after a long chase of the four, the police caught up with them, prompting shootout. They had defied the police order to surrender. The four were later gunned down and Ceska pistol and four rounds of ammunitions recovered. We also retrieved the 50,000 shillings (590 dollars) from the phone shop and unknown amount of airtime," he said.
The incident came one day after the police vowed to step up security in Nairobi and across the country in the wake of terror threats from Al-Shabaab blamed for increased bomb and grenade attacks on the Kenyan soil.
The police have particularly appealed to Kenyans to be extra vigilant and urged hoteliers, landlords, shopping mall proprietors and churches as well as public service vehicle operators to be more vigilant to report any suspects to police.