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IED kills 3 al Shabaab militants, injures four in Garissa

By Cyrus Ombati | September 12th 2020 at 09:33:47 GMT +0300

Police said the injured were picked up by people in a vehicle with a Somalia registration number.

At least three al Shabaab militants were killed after an IED they were assembling exploded on them in Fafi, Garissa County.

Officials said four others were injured in the Friday evening incident that happened at about 4pm.

Police said the injured were picked up by people in a vehicle with a Somalia registration number.

“The vehicle left the Santaro al Shabaab base in Somalia to pick up the injured and ferry them [back] for medication,” police said.

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This was before security teams could respond to the scene. Witnesses said the rescue team was armed. The scene of the incident is almost 50km inside the Kenya territory. There are suspicions some residents knew about the setting up of the explosive.

The insurgents have been planting explosives on the roads in the region to target security agents on patrol. Dozens of officials have been killed in the process.

On September 2 an IED set up at Wantey, Bura-Hache, in Mandera killed one security official and destroyed an Armoured Personnel Carrier. The personnel was patrolling the area when they stepped on the bomb.

The militants continue to unleash terror this year, killing more than 20 people between January and February in the North Eastern and Coast regions.

It is the same Fafi area that security officials recovered more than 20 high explosive ammunition on the roadside concealed under a camel bag two months ago. It is not clear who had abandoned the bag at the scene.

This is the latest such attempted attack in the region. On July 13, a man believed to be an al Shabaab terrorist was killed by a bomb he was planting on the roadside in the Geneva area, Mandera County.

Officials said the man was hit by an IED that he was setting on the roadside, killing him. It is believed he was planting the bomb targeting security agents using the route.

Regional police boss Rono Bunei said they have enhanced operations to address such incidents.

He said such bombs are set up to target security movements and urged for cooperation from locals to tame them.

“We can stop such incidents with the help of locals. No one can plant a bomb on a public road without being seen by locals hence need for their cooperation to stop the trend,” he said.

IEDs have killed dozens of security officials in the region in incidents in the past which were blamed on collaboration between the terrorists and their remnants in the area.

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 the Covid-19 pandemic but they have resumed with the gangs targeting security agencies. 

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 has 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.

Kenya launched Operation Linda Nchi on October 14, 2011, after gunmen seized tourists at the Coast which the Government saw as a threat to the country's sovereignty as it targeted the nation's economic lifeline-Tourism. 

Kenya's incursion into southern Somalia started after the kidnapping of two Spanish women, who were working for MSF at the Dadaab refugee camp.

The abductions were carried out by the militants who the troops said planned to push away under the Operation Linda Nchi.

Two years later, the troops managed to take control of Kismayo port under Operation Sledge Hammer.

The troops have liberated many regions near the Kenyan porous border.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since the 1991 overthrow of President Siad Barre's military regime, which ushered in more than two decades of anarchy and conflict in a country deeply divided along clan lines.

On September 2, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i ordered the seizure of assets and freezing of the accounts of nine individuals said to support terror activities in the region. Most of them are being held in jail.

They are Halima Adan Ali, Waleed Ahmed Zein, Sheikh Guyo Gorsa Boru, Mohammed Abdi Ali (Abu Fidaa), Nuseiba Mohammed Haji, Abdimajit Adan Hassan, Mohammed Ali Abdi, Muktar Ibrahim Ali and Mire Abdullahi Elmi.


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