Police arrest 800 Mungiki members

Nairobi, Kenya - More than 800 suspected members of the outlawed Mungiki sect were arrested during Christmas.

The operation followed reports that the sect members were planning to attack a Nairobi estate.

Police said they had received information that followers of the sect planned indiscriminate attacks to protest the arrest of their former leader Mr Ndura Waruinge.

The police on Wednesday said the operation would continue to ensure safety of city residents. The suspects are being interrogated in various police stations in the city.

Nairobi Provincial Police Officer, Mr Njue Njagi, had earlier told The Standard they were aware of the reports and that measures had been taken to avert any such attacks.

"We will have our Christmas and New Year celebrations in January because for now every police officer is out there to ensure safety of the residents," he said.

Former sect leader locked up

A police post was set ablaze and vehicles stoned during the incident.

Police later summoned Waruinge and interrogated him for hours before locking him up and charging him a day later.

He was denied bail until next month when the hearing of the case will begin.

In 2002, members of the sect attacked residents of Kariobangi North killing more than 10 in an incident that sparked outrage.

The sect members have also forcefully taken charge of some matatu termini where they extort money from operators.

Internal Security Minister, Mr John Michuki, has declared war on the sect followers.