Police nab trio linked to Mandera terror attacks

Mandera, Kenya: Police in Mandera have arrested three suspects, including a man believed to have been the mastermind of last November’s massacre in which 64 people were killed in the county.

The three were later driven to Nairobi last evening for further questioning.

Following the arrest, security was beefed up in Mandera town amid fears of attacks.

Schools affected

All social joints were secured even as schools continue to reel from the effects of the terror attacks after teachers from outside the county refused to resume duty this term citing security fears.

One of the suspects identified as Salim Abubakar Kitonga is a Kenyan but the other two are Somalis.

Mandera Police Commander Job Boronjo said the suspects were co-operating well with the police in investigations.

He said other wanted Al Shabaab terrorists and sponsors would soon be arrested.

Boronjo said the Kenyan suspect had been recruiting terror suspects from Mandera and regional countries to join Al-Shabaab.

He added Kitonga had been facilitating the movement of new non-Somali recruits into Somalia through Bula Hawa and that he had been living at a mosque in Mandera town that he declined to disclose.

Two attacks

“There are reports that he planned the two attacks that left 64 people dead late last year, but he is with us for further interrogations before he is taken to court,” said Boronjo.

The other suspects were not immediately identified.

Suspected Al-Shabaab militants last November killed at least 28 people on a bus in Arabiya area, Mandera County.

The heavily armed militias were reported to have waylaid a Nairobi-bound bus between Mandera and Arabia.

Two weeks later, Al Shabaab militants massacred 36 at a quarry in Mandera.