A group of about 30 al Shabaab militias attacked a security base manned by the Rural Border Patrol Unit of the Administration Police near Elwak in Mandera town on Monday night but were repulsed by Kenyan forces.
The militias sneaked into the border town in the dark but were repulsed and pursued into Somalia. “The whole incident was brief and happened at night. Our police officers only heard gunshots,” North Eastern provincial police officer Leo Nyongesa said yesterday.
He assured residents in the region that security officers were vigilant throughout to prevent any incursion into Kenya by any terror group. And in Liboi, about 20 al Shabaab militias yesterday afternoon attacked a vehicle ferrying KCPE papers. There was a fierce exchange of fire between the nearly militias and security officers who were transporting the exam papers a few kilometres from Liboi town. Nobody was injured in the shootout.
Two weeks ago four people were killed in Lafey district afterb al Shabaab militias hurled a hand grenade at the car they were travelling in before spraying it with bullets.
Speaking exclusively to the Star in his office, North Eastern director of education Aden sheikh Abdullahi said the KCPE papers that were being taken to Liboi finally reached there safely. “As we are speaking now the exam has kicked off well in every corner of the province despite the many challenges we have had ranging from the insecurity and the poor roads. We are doing our best to ensure that the candidates continue with their exams without any problems,” he added.
He said that the exam papers of Mandera county and parts of Wajir West had to be airlifted after a heavy downpour made the roads impassable. And in Banisa district of Mandera county the exam papers of day two and three were missing but the education officer said they would get the papers from Mandera West.
He said that there were problems in the refugee camps since most of the teachers who are employed by the UN and who were to invigilate the exams had left following the abduction by al Shabaab of two Spanish doctors. A total of 4,093 candidates are sitting for the exam in North Eastern Province. A total 2,323 refugees are sitting the exam. And across the Dadaab camp, thousands of Somali refugees rallied in a demo to condemn the barbarism of al Shabaab.
Carrying banners, waving twigs and singing anti al Shabaab slogans, the refugees from the three camps of Hagadera, Ifo and Dagahaley showed their solidarity with the Kenya government’s military offensive against the militia group. They said the militia group was driven by greed and not religion with a mission to create terror.
Hagadera refugee camp chairman Kussow Abdi Nuni said the demonstration was organised by the refugee community to show that al Shabbab is an enemy to everyone and must be fought under all costs. “We support the Kenya government in its operation to wipe out al Shabaab from Somalia. Kenya has hosted us for more than 20 decades and we want to go back and build our country now,” Nuni said.
Christian leaders in Garissa yesterday asked the government to increase security in all places of worship following the death of two people after suspected al Shabab militias hurled a hand grenade at them. The clergy were addressing the press at the East Africa Pentecostal Church compound which was attacked by the militias on Saturday night.
They condemned the incident saying that it would cause tensions between the Muslims and Christians in the province. “We view this as a criminal act, which should be dealt with by the government machinery, we have always lived peacefully with one another therefore we choose not to interpret this as a religious war,” said Rev Joseph Mwasya of the Church on the Rock who talked on behalf of the clergy.
They called upon on the Christian community and the residents in Garissa to uphold peace and harmony “as we wait for the government to carry out full investigations”. The family of one of those killed in the blast is still in shock.
Patrick Mutinda, the father of eight-year-old Winnie Joy Mwendwa who died in the blast, narrated his last moments with his daughter. “I am still in shock following the incident. I only have God to thank because it could have been worse and claimed the lives of all those who were in the house. I only want to see justice done at the end of the day, and this can only be seen to be done if the those involved are brought to book,” said the father of four.
Security officers from Garissa have arrested 10 suspected members of the militia group. All were taken to local CID office for interrogation after being found with no identification documents. Security officers drawn from the Army, Police and Administration Police yesterday raided Midnimo Hotel in Garissa after receiving information that three suspected suicide bombers were planning an attack within the town. They however said the suspects managed to escape.