Al-Shabaab suspects destroy Safaricom mast in Wajir

Sunday January 7 2018

A communication mast

A communication mast. Suspected Al-Shabaab militants have on January 7, 2018 destroyed a Safaricom communication mast in Kutulo, Wajir County, paralysing communication. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BRUHAN MAKONG
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Suspected Al-Shabaab militants have destroyed a Safaricom communication mast in Kutulo, Wajir County, paralysing communication.

The incident is said to have happened some time after 1am Sunday.

The same mast is said to have been destroyed some years back by the militants.

In an interview with Nation, Wajir County Police Commander Stephen Ng'etich said a huge explosion was heard when the unknown number of attackers exploded a device forcing officers at the nearby station to scamper for safety  since they were unaware of what was happening.

Shortly after, the officers returned and a gun battle between them and the militants ensued.

"Our officers engaged in a gun battle with the militants before they fled," said the commander.

OFFICERS SAFE

He added that no officer was injured in the process.

"At first we were worried about the whereabouts of our officers since we had lost communication with them before sending a reinforcement team from Tarbaj and Kutulo who reported to us that all our officers were safe," he said.

The commander added that they suspect the militants wanted to disrupt communication between Kutulo and El Wak in Mandera Town in order to give them an upper hand as they carry out their terrorist activities.

“We suspect that their aim was to disrupt communication between Kutulo and El Wak where they have been carrying out their terrorist activities," said Mr Ng'etich.

Mr Ng'etich said that they have sent reinforcements in the area and security   officers are currently in pursuit of the militants.

He called on the residents to share crucial information with the security agencies in order to help them in their fight against terror.

“All we can say is that the enemy is here with us and unless there is co-operation between residents, security agencies and all the players we are headed [for] tough times ahead," he said.