One abducted, 2 injured in Shabaab attacks in Mandera

Tuesday October 31 2017

Mandera Al-Shabaab

A public service vehicle along Mandera-Banisa route. Suspected Al-Shabaab militants hijacked two vehicles and abducted a driver on October 30, 2017 in Mandera. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MANASE OTSIALO
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Two vehicles were hijacked in two separate incidents on Monday in Mandera by suspected Al-Shabaab militants.

In the first incident, a Toyota Hilux was carjacked between Fino and Sheikh Barrow area. 

According to Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia, the driver was alone in the vehicle and was commandeered into Somalia by the carjackers suspected to be Al-Shabaab militants.

The vehicle was coming into Mandera town from Lafey and a police source at Lafey told Nation that the incident was reported by a herdsman.

The county chief said the driver has since communicated from Somalia to his spouse in Kenya confirming that he is alive.

SECOND ATTACK

“Efforts are underway to get the driver back home to his family because we can confirm he is alive,” said Mr Shisia, withholding the abducted driver’s name.

In the second incident a Land Cruiser carrying five passengers was attacked by the said militants at Arabia area.

It is believed that the vehicle was ferrying passengers to Elwak when the attack happened.

Commenting about the incident, Mr Shisia said the driver was released and two passengers suffered gunshot wounds but they were in stable condition.

He added that the militias took the vehicle away and they (police) are yet to trace it.

HIDEOUT

Both incidents occurred along the notorious Mandera- Lafey- Elwak road on Monday.

According to Mr Shisia, the improved foliar coverage due to rains was providing a good hideout for the enemy along the border with Somalia.

“Every time weather improves, these people (Al-Shabaab) move deeper into our territory where they can get water and they are shielded by foliage. This gives them courage to move close to the road,” he said.

To counter the attacks on the Kenyan soil, he said security agencies were increasing foot patrols deep into the bushes and along the road.

SECURITY MEASURES

The county chief refuted claims that his team was reluctant in coming up with proper security measures to counter the militias.

Instead, he cited migration of herders from volatile areas as the main setback in hunting down the Al-Shabaab.

“We don’t have herders in those areas to give information and this has disadvantaged us but we have put other measures in place,” he said.

Mr Shisia asked motorists to be careful while using the Mandera- Lafey- Elwak route.