Al Shabaab militants kill kidnapped Mandera chief

Al Shabaab militants killed a Kenyan chief after they failed to get Sh4 million ransom. The militants had kidnapped the chief identified as Mkutar Otieno from Arabia, Mandera County at about 7am on Thursday.

According to police, the body of the chief was found in Badhere area, tied on a tree and with four bullet wounds. The vehicle the gang had also carjacked was missing.

Officials aware of the incident said negotiations to release the chief were led by local elders who however, failed to convince the kidnappers.

"We are wondering how the so called elders knew about the incident, long before the militarty arrived," said an official in the area.

The body was expected to be transported back to Kenya Thursday night. 

"They had demanded a ransom of Sh4 million but after the negotiations broke down, the gunmen tied him on a tree and shot him at close range," said a Kenyan security official aware of the incident but who asked not to be named. 

Mkutar was popular among locals in Arabia. He was in the company of his assistant in a public service vehicle headed for Mandera Town when the gunmen struck.

Officials said the gang seemed to target him and after they got hold of him they hijacked a miraa van and drove off towards Badhere area about 50 kilometers away from Kenyan border.