State will bring to book GSU officers’ killers, Uhuru vows

Monday, October 14th, 2019 07:56 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo/File

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday said the government will pursue and bring to justice killers of 11 officers from the elite Recce Unit of the General Service Unit (GSU).

 In message of condolence to the families of the officers, who died when their vehicle ran over an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Degow in Garissa county on Saturday evening, the President through the State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena, said Kenyans will not succumb to the “cowardly acts of misguided elements out to compromise the safety and security of the citizens”.

 Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’I and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai said reinforcement had been sent to the area to pursue the attackers as investigations were launched into the incident.

Terror fight

“I extend my deepest sympathies and profound solidarity with the families of our gallant officers who lost their lives in Garrisa last night. Their selfless patriotic sacrifice to serve Kenya renews our resolve in the fight against terror,” said Matiang’i.

The officers from the Harhar GSU camp were on routine security patrol in a Toyota Land Cruiser on the road between Liboi and Damajale near the Kenya-Somalia border when the vehicle ran over an IED.  They all died on the spot.

It is suspected that the attackers left the scene after planting the explosives unlike in the past where they have stolen the officers’ weapons.

Police headquarters yesterday said the response team recovered 15 hand grenades, an M16 rifle, six damaged G3 rifles, three Ak47 rifles, nine body armours, four ballistic helmets, a grenade launcher and two Fragmented Rifle Grenades (FRGs).

The bodies of the 11 were yesterday airlifted to Nairobi and received by Matiang’i and Mutyambai before being transferred to the Kenyatta University mortuary at around noon. 

The Saturday attack brings to more than 30 officers killed this year alone in separate attacks. On September 10, eight police officers were killed when their Armoured Personnel Carrier was hit by a Rocket Propelled Grenade in Elwak area, Mandera county.

The attack came barely a fortnight after anti-terrorism police thwarted what would have been the worst terror attack in the Coastal region during the Mashujaa Day celebrations and other major installations.

Yesterday, leaders condemned the attack and mourned the officers with the Garissa Governor Ali Korane saying; “We are saddened by the news of the death of 11 police officers killed in an IED attack along Liboi-Damajale road, Garissa County. I extend my condolences to their family, relatives, and colleagues”.

The latest attack which claimed elite officers has raised questions why they were  not using the Armoured Personnel Carriers(APCs) that were bought to ensure safety of security officers in the volatile area. 

But even then, the reliability of APCs have been questioned after some of them were extensively damaged in the previous attacks. For instance, in the Elwak attack, the eight officers who died,  were using a Norinco VN4 APC.

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