Police repulse al Shabaab attempt to attack Mandera camp

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Security agents repulsed an attempt by al Shabaab militants to attack a police camp in Elram area, Elwak, Mandera County.

Officials said the gang had Tuesday night shot several times towards the local Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) camp prompting a response from local teams.

Locals said there was a heavy fire exchange that lasted almost 10 minutes before the gang retreated.

The camp is new and has been targetted by the terrorists in the area.

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Security agents said they were conducting an assessment in the area to establish if there was any casualty.

But an official said such attempts had become common targeting and provoking security agents.

“They on regular basis target the security camps to provoke a war. We know some remnants are operating in this area and still hunting them,” said an officer aware of the trend.

North Eastern regional police boss Rono Bunei said no injury was reported on the side of local security agents.

This is the latest such incident to happen in the area in a series of others that target security agencies by ambush or setting bombs on the roads.

Because of the proximity of the region to the Somalia border, the militants have been crossing and setting bombs on the road to target security agents.

They also roam in the area lecturing locals against embracing non-locals.

On January 26, one security officer was killed and three injured when their vehicle was hit by an IED along the Omarjillo-Arabia Road in Mandera County.

The explosive had been set on the road to target the security personnel who were passing there.

“We continue to urge cooperation from the locals to help us tame this madness. No one can explain how these bombs are set on the roads without the knowledge of locals,” said Bunei.

Special Forces are among personnel who have been sent to the vast area to hunt down the al Shabaab militants behind the trend. Northern Kenya has borne the brunt of the vice due to its strategic location with Somalia, a situation complicated by a porous border.

The militants have been targeting communication masts and government installations in Northern Kenya.

Also on the receiving end are civil servants and non-locals working in the expansive region.

This has crippled the education sector and more so after the Teachers Service Commission recalled most of non-locals teachers working in the troubled region.

Somalia has not had a stable government after the fall of Siad Barre in 1991.

The area is near the Somalia border and the militants usually cross at will and stage attacks before escaping back.

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.

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.

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