Ethiopian troops arrested two al Shabaab militants who confessed to being behind a series of attacks in Northeastern Kenya.
The suspects were arrested at Suftu and Emyole border points as they tried to cross over to Ethiopia, officials said.
One suspect, identified as Yussuf Mohammed Hussein Abdi, a deserter from the Ethiopian army, told authorities he has worked for al Shabaab for eight years now.
The suspect, who was once arrested on the Ethiopia-Sudan border in 2008 but released when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took power, confessed witnessing attacks in Mandera county a week ago.
“Further confessions indicate that he had witnessed the attack on a bus and the burning of a Land Cruiser on January 11, 2021. He took part in destroying a Safaricom mast at Darkale in Banisa, Mandera county, on January 13, 2021,” a police report says.
The suspect said he left immediately after the destruction of the mast. He boarded a matatu and was attempting to cross over to Ethiopia through Suftu near Mandera on January 15, 2021, but was nabbed by the Ethiopian forces.
“He says that the group in Banisa is of about 40 men, headed by four leaders.”
The suspect said he has three children who live with his mother in Moyale. He said his wife had died.
A second suspect was arrested near Emyole.
The two were to be handed over to Kenyan authorities once interrogations were completed, officials said.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i yesterday met leaders from Garissa, Isiolo and Wajir counties to discuss security matters.
He said there was concern over the attacks, hence the need for concerted efforts to address them.
In December last year, al Shabaab militants abducted and beheaded a chief in Wajir in a macabre attack.
They abducted a group of local security officials and the chief before they released them. They later killed the administrator.
The torso of Gumarey assistant chief Omar Adan Buul was missing when the head was found on December 21.
Al Shabaab militants have been roaming the area and there are fears of more attacks after dozens of militants crossed from Somalia to Kenya.
Somalia has not had a stable government after the fall of Siad Barre in 1991.
Al Shabaab terroprists have been attacking places in the Northern part of Kenya, especially in Mandera and Garissa, after breaching security zones. The attacks have left dozens of civilians and security officials either dead or wounded.
Terrorists have been destroying security installations in the area. This has affected the education sector, forcing non-local teachers to flee.
More personnel have since been deployed to the area and operations by the Border Patrol Unit heightened.
Kenyan troops are in Somalia to pursue and suppress the activities of the terror group.