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We’ve seen Shabaab militants, Wajir South residents say

Monday February 3 2020

Garissa communication mast

The Safaricom communication mast which was destroyed by suspected Al-Shabaab in Garissa recently. The suspected Al-Shabaab militants believed to have attacked Kamuthe Primary School weeks ago in Garissa County has been sighted in Wajir South, residents have said. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FARHIYA HUSSEIN
By FARHIYA HUSSEIN
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Al-Shabaab militants suspected to have launched an attack on Kamuthe Primary School weeks ago in Garissa County have been sighted at Dadbule centre in Wajir South, local residents have said.

Dadbule is located 21 kilometres from Kamuthe centre where the attackers earlier destroyed a communications mast and burnt down a police post.

According to a resident, Mariam Ibrahim, the suspected attackers were going round preaching to locals and asking them not to reveal their presence to security agencies.

“They were 12 of them and were armed with weapons,” said Ms Ibrahim.

ESTABLISHED CAMP

After the Kamuthe school attack, the militants are reported to have been in hiding in Dadbule where it is believed they have established a camp.

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They are said to have been depending on three donkeys for mobility and sharing a water point with the locals.

Another resident who did not want to be named said: “The group walks around with AK-47 assault rifles and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and when they come to fetch water, some of them act as guards.”

The source also said that a vehicle has been seen supplying foodstuffs to the militants.

It is suspected the vehicle comes from Garissa County.

RECRUITING BOYS

It is also believed that the militants have been recruiting young boys from the area and the camp might be the group’s command base.

It is suspected the militants are targeting masts located in Nanighi, Korakora and also Bura East Police Station.

The militia group has in the recent past been attacking schools and hospitals.

On Friday last week, residents said they saw some of the suspected members of the militia group buy a goat worth Sh4,000.

In January, Al-Shaabab attackers stormed Kamuthe Primary School and killed three teachers. The victims were Caleb Mutangia Mutua, Titus Sasieka Mshindi and Samuel Mutua.

CONSPIRACY

Addressing journalists after the attack, North Eastern Regional Commissioner Nick Ndalana said a conspiracy between the group and the locals was a contributor to the attacks.

Speaking in Garissa County last week, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the Nyumba Kumi structure will be re-activated in Wajir, Mandera and Garissa counties to help in eradicating terror attacks.

“We are going to re-activate peace committees and introduce a structure on how information will be shared within the security agencies,” said Dr Matiang’i.