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Safaricom network restored after Al Shabaab attack

By Hassan Barisa | Published Wed, April 19th 2017 at 00:00, Updated April 18th 2017 at 22:15 GMT +3

The Safaricom mast that was brought down by Al Shabaab in Hulugho, Garissa County has been fixed.

The militants shot down the mast with a rocket, knocking out cellphone communication in the region for the past five months.

The Ijara deputy county commissioner, Julius Too, was among leaders who witnessed the restoration of the network.

Residents Mohamed Gure, Yakub Isse, and Halima Mohamed said they had been going to Sangailu, about 60km from Hulugho town, to make calls to their relatives and get M-Pesa services.

They commended the Kenya Defence Force soldiers, who engaged Al Shabaab terrorists along the Kenya-Somalia border at Kolbio last month.

Military intelligence said soldiers had combed the area and assured the residents of their security.

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Last week, the North Eastern regional commissioner, Mohamud Swaleh, said the area was safe and that members of the militia had fled the region.

He thanked the residents for cooperating with security agencies on reporting the sympathisers of the militia.

With the mast fixed, most M-Pesa shops resumed operations and Safaricom airtime cards were selling fast.

In the absence of the mast, residents of the border towns of Hosingo, Kudah, and Kolbio resorted to using the Somalia-based Hormud network, which charges Sh100 a minute, to make calls. Money transactions were not available.