Al-Shabaab militants on rampage lecture passengers for hours in Mandera

Al-Shabaab terrorists on the rampage stopped a bus and a taxi and lectured passengers on board while searching for non-locals in Mandera County.

The incident happened in Dabacity area, Kutulo, which is near the Kenya-Somalia border on Thursday. It happened Lag Barich area between Dabacity Town and Dimu Hill.

The bus was ferrying passengers from Nairobi to Mandera when the heavily armed men stopped it.

Witnesses said they were looking for non-locals. They ordered all passengers to get out of the bus and searched for non-locals for more than two hours in vain.

They also stopped a taxi from Kotulo heading to Elwak and a motorbike coming from Borehole 11 to Dimu village.

After thoroughly searching for non-locals in vain, they gave a long speech in the Somali language which most of the passengers didn’t comprehend, some passengers told the police.

The witnesses said while some were searching the passengers, others were seen in nearby bushes along the main B9 road.

No one on board was hurt as there were no non-locals on board. Such incidents in the past have turned fatal.

In December 2019, eight passengers who were non-locals were killed in an attack by the militants in the same area.

In one of the worst attacks inside Kenya, al-Shabab in 2014 hijacked a bus traveling through Mandera County and killed 28 non-Muslims on board.

Security officers manning roadblocks have since been directed not to allow any non-locals to travel along the road between Kotulo and Elwak Towns.

Teams of security officials were sent to the area to pursue the gangs.

Gunmen believed to be part of the militants attacked and destroyed a communication mast in Slaughter area, Rhamu, Mandera County leaving many out of reach on Monday.

This is the latest such incident to happen in the area after a long lull giving an indication the gang is back.

The lull was out of persistent security operations in the region and in particular near the Kenya-Somalia border.

Northeastern police boss George Seda said they had deployed more police officers to pursue the attackers who escaped towards the border.

No injury was reported in the latest incident. The masts are usually manned by police officers in the region.

The terrorists have been targeting security installations in the area. This is despite campaigns to address the insecurity menace in the area.

Al-Shabaab terrorists have been attacking places in the region, especially in Mandera and Garissa counties after breaching security zones, which left dozens of civilians and security officials dead and wounded.

The terrorists have been planting explosives on the routes used by the security agencies.

More personnel have since been sent to the area and operations by the Border Patrol Unit heightened to tame the surge.

Kenyan troops are in Somalia to pursue and suppress the activities of the terror group.

Source:- The Star