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Security agencies foil Al-Shabaab kidnapping incident in Wajir

By Cyrus Ombati | July 8th 2020

Kenya security agencies foiled a hijacking and kidnapping terror attack outside Dabacity area of Elwak in Wajir boarder with Somalia.

Officials said Al-Shabaab militants had hijacked a civilian Toyota Landcruiser pickup with eight occupants but were intercepted as they drove towards Somalia.

There were zero casualties and the vehicle with the occupants was secured in the Tuesday incident, an official aware of the drama said.

The gang escaped. Security agencies are on alert in the region following reports the militants are planning attacks targeting security agencies and vital installations. There has been a lull of attacks in the region over Covid-19 pandemic but they have resumed with the gangs targeting security agencies.

Last week, the Al-Shabaab militants launched an unsuccessful attack on a police camp in Fafi, Garissa County before escaping towards Kenya-Somalia border.

The gunmen launched a rocket propelled grenade on the camp before opening fire but no injury was reported. General Service Unit personnel who were in the camp repulsed the gang in the 1.30 am, June 27 incident.

Local officials said the gunmen escaped towards Somalia border. Kenya Defence Forces choppers joined the hunt on the gang later in the morning.

Fafi Sub-County and other areas near the Kenyan-Somalia border have been riddled with runaway insecurity, with several attacks that have claimed lives. The casualties include security officers.

At the beginning of this year, three teachers at Kamuthey Primary School were killed in cold blood after Al Shabaab militants stormed the school at dawn. A week before the attack, they had killed four school children in Saretho in Garissa County. This led to the transfer of thousands of teachers by Teachers Service Commission amid protests.

Regional Police Commander Rono Bunei said they have enhanced operations to address the fears.

"We have more deployments in the region to ensure safety for all," he said.

In recent years, counties in the Northern region have borne the brunt of frequent attacks from the Shabaab militants. But this year, the number of attacks have decreased. Wajir, Garissa and Mandera counties share a border with Somalia.

Local sympathizers have also been blamed for the attacks in the region which have always targeted security personnel and civil servants including teachers.

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