Kenya Police Now Say Arshad Sharif Killed In 'Exchange Of Fire'

Kenya Police Now Say Arshad Sharif Killed In 'Exchange Of Fire'
Kenya police on Tuesday presented a new version of events leading to the killing of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif.

Kenya newspaper Nation said in a Wednesday report police had contradicted a version presented earlier by saying on Tuesday that police had returned fire when those seated in the vehicle had fired shots at policemen at the picket. "Yesterday, however, the police claimed that the occupants of the car shot at the GSU officers when they were stopped, injuring one of them, which prompted the officers to shoot back," Vincent Achuka wrote in a report carried by the paper.

The vehicle in question, Achuka said in his report, had been driven 12 kilometres further from the spot. The Toyota Land Cruiser was then abandoned. "“At around 10:40pm, an assistant chief from Esonorua called and informed that a suspicious vehicle had been abandoned along the road towards Ngarangiro,” the reporter quoted police as having said.

The initial police narrative saying the force had been on alert following reports of a vehicle having been stolen was also questioned by Nation. "...the car that had been reported stolen is a Mercedes Benz, with a registration number that is different from the Land Cruiser’s. The police are unable to explain how the GSU officers involved in the shooting mistook a Toyota Land Cruiser for a Mercedes Benz."

Arshad was killed in Kenya on Sunday. Local police billed the incident as a case of ‘mistaken identity’ while social media was rife with accusations. His wife Javeria, separately, reiterated calls for the family’s right to privacy be respected. Kenya media, separately, has not been buying the police version (of events).