Convicted Kenyan militants back behind bars

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Three convicted militants, one who took part in a 2015 attack that killed 148 people, were recaptured on Thursday after escaping from a maximum security prison in Nairobi, the directorate of criminal investigations said.

The three were arrested making their way to Somalia and were 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 Prison were Joseph Juma Odhiambo, jailed for trying to join Somali militant Islamist group al Shabaab in 2019, and Musharaf Abdalla Akhulunga, arrested for participation in a foiled 2012 attack on parliament.

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

The group raised suspicions asking directions to Boni Forest, close to the Somali border, the Daily Nation reported. The escapees looked dishevelled and one was limping, the paper said, quoting witnesses.

On Wednesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta sacked the country’s prisons boss Wycliffe Ogallo over the escape.

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