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Burn victim, 16, airlifted to Nairobi for treatment

A girl, 16, who was burnt by her husband in Mandera County is airlifted to
Nairobi for specialised treatment. [PHOTO: LUCAS NGASIKE/Standard]

NAIROBI: Fighting back the pain from burn wounds after an alleged attack by her elderly husband, a 16-year-old girl began her journey to recovery on Monday afternoon when an Amref Flying Doctors plane took off from Mandera Military Airstrip bound for Nairobi where she will undergo specialised treatment.

She was glad that help had finally come after months of anguish in the remote village of Shimbir Fatuma within Elwak Sub-County after she suffered severe burns, when her husband locked her in the house and set it on fire.

And she had a grim wish for her tormentor as the aircraft took off: "Don't arrest him, kill him."

Well-wishers facilitated her trip after her shocking story recently hit the headlines.

She is the face of young girls in North Eastern region who are forced into early marriage.

Little did she know that her lover, who is as old as her father, would one day turn into a beast.

According to villagers and neighbours who witnessed the incident, the man went berserk after a tiff with his young wife before he torched her.

The man beat her up and locked her in a house before setting it ablaze.

The incident happened four months ago but residents hinted to The Standard at Mandera Military Airstrip that the matter had been secretly resolved by a local chief, council of elders and a local politician.

"Thanks to the Press for highlighting the plight of my daughter. It's by the grace of Allah that my daughter is alive. I laud the neighbours who managed to rescue her from the inferno. I could not believe my eyes when I saw my daughter with severe burns," her mother said.

Nursing Officer in charge of Mandera General Hospital Mohamed Hassan Adan described the girl's condition as critical.

Amref Flying Doctors airlifted the girl to Kenyatta National Hospital for specialised treatment after a well-wisher volunteered to foot her medical bill.

Mandera County MCA Ibrahim Wario and the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Chairperson Uba Abdi Ibrahim condemned the incident and called for the arrest of the chief involved in the cover-up.

According to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, the girl's husband was arraigned in Mandera Court on Monday.

The court will rule on his bail application Wednesday.