Half of those killed in terror attacks are security officers — report

A police officer evacuates people during a terror attack at the Dusit D2 hotel compound, in Nairobi, January 15, 2019. A new report has shown 42 security officers lost their lives as a result of direct attacks by Al-Shabaab terrorist group. [File, Reuters]

For every two people killed in a terror attack in 2019, one was a security officer.

This is according to a new report released Tuesday in Nairobi by the Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies (Chrips).

It showed how security officers continue to take the brunt of terrorism despite the government’s measures to guarantee their safety.

The study revealed that 83 people died in terror incidents with 42 security officers losing their lives.

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The victims were from the General Service Unit (12), Anti-stock Theft Unit (10), Kenya Police (8), Administration Police (8), Kenya Defence Forces (3) and a police reservist.

Twenty-six civilians, 11 Al Shabaab militants, two suspected terrorists and two unspecified people also died in the 34 terror attacks across the country.

This is as 74 people were injured and 12 others kidnapped by terrorists.

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“While news reports attributed most terror attacks to Al Shabaab, the terrorist group has only claimed responsibility for the January 15 attack at Dusit D2 Hotel in Nairobi and two other attacks in June,” the report read.

It added that the attacks, which jumped from 23 in 2018, intensified between June and December with no less than two attacks being recorded in each month.

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Chrips noted that six of the 47 counties were hit by the attacks.

“The highest number of attacks in 2019 took place in Mandera and Wajir where nine attacks were reported in each county,” it said.

Wajir County recorded the highest number of fatalities at 26 while the Dusit D2 Hotel attack in Nairobi accounted for the highest number of civilian death at 20.

“Nairobi recorded the highest number of injured people at 32 while Mombasa County recorded the lowest number of injured persons in an incident on 20 June when an Al Shabaab suspect was injured while attempting to assemble an IED which exploded,” the report reads.

Further, the report adds that 135 people were arrested during the period under review, an 11 per cent increase from 2018 when the arrests stood at 109.

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Only six of those arrested have been charged with terror-related offences in court, the report notes.

“January had the highest number of arrests owing to security sweeps following the Dusit D2 attack, which saw suspects arrested in Nairobi, Kitui, Garissa, Meru, and Wajir counties,” Chrips said.

According to the report, 2019 saw arrests in counties where terror-related arrests had not previously been reported in 2017 and 2018.

 They included Elgeyo-Marakwet, Marsabit, Bomet, Kisii, Uasin Gishu, Kiambu, Trans-Nzoia, Narok and Kitui counties.

Chrips said it derived its data from the Chrips Terror Attacks and Arrests Observatory report and used verified traditional and new media reports as well as information from local partners to generate the database. 

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TerrorismAl ShabaabTerror attackHillary Orinde