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Security tension hits town following Mandera killings

Senior police and administration officers yesterday held a security crisis meeting with local businessmen in an effort to defuse mounting tension following the attacks in Mandera wher 36 people were killed.

Most of those killed in the Al-Shabaab attack were youths from the county working in a quarry.

Nyeri sub-county Deputy Commissioner John Marete said there was a sense of anger towards Somalis because 18 out of the 36 people killed were from Nyeri County.

"We must be tolerant of each other because we have established that the criminals responsible for the Mandera attacks were not killing innocent Kenyans in the name of Islam or because the victims are from a certain community," Mr Marete told members of the Nyeri business community associations.

He said five out of the 18 people from the county were from Nyeri sub-county and therefore, residents were in mourning.

Marete assured the business owners to take a keen interest in the youth to keep them away from radicalisation and being lured into criminal activities for the sake of money.

"The young men in our community are being targeted with some being lured to North Eastern for religious studies. The police are tracking them  to areas past North Eastern, and we are certain they are being promised money to join radical groups," he warned.

Some of the concerns raised by the business owners were the need for police officers in civilian to patrol the town to deter crime during the December  festive season, the frequent transfer of police officers, using informants on criminal activities, and close monitoring of boda boda and taxi operators.

The administrator said the officers were already patrolling the town using unmarked police cars.