Six injured after Al Shabaab militants raid passenger bus

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 00:00 |
Westgate terror attack suspects (from left) Hussein Mustafa, Liban Omar and Mohamed Abdi, at Milimani Law Courts. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

Nyaboga Kiage

At least six passengers were yesterday morning injured after Al Shabaab militants attacked a Nairobi-bound bus in Kotulo, Mandera. 

Attack comes barely a fortnight after the militants abducted three masons and took them to unknown destination in Lafey within the county.

North Eastern Regional Commander Rono Bunei yesterday said the attack occured at Lag Qorobo between Dabacity and Dimu hill. 

“Unknown number of Al Shabaab terrorists forcefully stopped a passenger bus heading from Mandera to Nairobi. 

The injured passengers were rushed to Kotulo Sub-county Hospital, where it was established that four of them were seriously injured,” Mr Bunei said.

The bus, belonging to the Makkar Sacco, left Mandera Town yesterday at around 8.00am and was attacked at noon.

This comes even as the Westgate terror suspected are expected to know their fate today.

Sources said the militants flattened the bus tires and also destroyed the fuel tank, grounding the vehicle on the spot. 

A driver who was in his private car then reported the matter and Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) were dispatched to the scene.  

Militants, however,  fled from after the attack and did not inspect the bus.

Police sources said the area of the attack was experiencing network hitches due to constant attacks by the militants targeting Safaricom boosters. 

Driver of the bus had spotted the militants as they tried to stop them but he defied their orders, and sped off, which led to the shoot-out. 

In 2014, an order was issued that police officers escort PSVs plying the Elwak- Dabacity-Wajir route but matters changed and locals say the militants have been issuing threats that non-locals should not use the route. 

On Friday, an intelligence report revealed that Al Shabaab militants who are angered by the way their colleagues have been murdered by KDF officers declared to carry out attacks on the Kenyan soil. 

Constant attacks

The declaration was made during the burial of a top militant who was killed in a recent attack carried out by KDF officials at an Al Shabaab camp. 

They also mentioned that they will  be carrying out constant attacks as they target to burn down Konton KDF Camp. 

Intelligence report also said that Al Shabaab fighters were desperate as they did not have money to procure drugs to treat their injured colleagues. 

There are fears that they are targeting hospitals with the aim of getting drugs.

Yesterday evening, Garda world- a private security company based in Montreal, Quebec in Canada, issued a warning that more terror- related attacks might take place in Mandera and other areas along Kenya’s porous border within Somalia. 

“Those in Mandera are advised to monitor developments, avoid the area of the incident and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and the Kenyan government,” the company said in a statement. 

Al Shabaab militants have in the recent past resorted to attacking PSVs even as the Kenyan Government, through the Ministry of Interior, has improved security in the vast North Eastern region. 

On February 19, in a similar incident, the militants killed four people when they attacked a bus that was on its way from Mandera to Nairobi. 

Just like yesterday’s incident, the militants also attacked the bus at mid-day by spraying it with bullets. 

Most of the previous attacks in the region have targeted non-locals where several have been killed while others injured.

Mid last month, five terrorists and a KDF soldier were killed following an ambush attack on a military convoy in Lafey. 

The KDF soldiers were ambushed along Alungu-Elwak road in the morning using grenades and guns.

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