Unknown gunmen kill refugee leader in northern Kenya
Monday, October 15, 2012
GARISSA, Kenya, Oct. 15 — Unknown gunmen killed a renowned refugee security committee leader at the Dadaab complex in northern Kenya, officials said on Monday.
Garissa County Commissioner Mohamed Maalim who confirmed the 14: 00 hours incident however said that the man was neither a government nor governmental designated security officer but was one of the refugee local community peace representative.
The 40 year-old Mahat Muhumed Said was shot in day light by unknown assailants who escaped on foot at Ifo refugee camp in the sprawling Dadaab refugee complex.
An eye witness, Mohamed Hussein, told Xinhua that the lone gun man who was armed with a pistol shot the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Ifo refugee camp security chair.
“We had gun shots and people run for their lives fearing that there might be an explosion that will follow the gun shots. Business came to a stand still, shops were closed and even hotels were hurriedly shut as everybody scampered for safety,” Hussein said.
“We rushed to the scene and found the man bleeding profusely. He was later rushed to Ifo where he was later pronounced dead,” Hussein said.
There has been a string of attacks in Dadaab refugee camp by Al- Shabaab militants and their sympathizers since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in October last year to subdue the insurgents who were blamed for a series of murders and kidnappings on the Kenya soil with Daadab district which hosts the refugee camps being one of the worst hit by the attacks.
More than 20 security officers have been killed in 11 attacks that have occurred in the northeastern region, while more than 20 people have also lost their lives in a series of landmine or grenade attacks in the region.
In the latest attacks on Monday, the suspect is believed to be a sympathizer of the Al-Shabaab group who were recently flushed out of the port city Kismayo which served as the insurgents’ lifeline.
Meanwhile, two vehicles heading to Madenera were ambushed by armed gunmen between Lafey and Arabia.
The heavily armed gunmen sprayed bullets on the first moving vehicles that were headed for a funeral of a local chief.
One of the drivers managed to escape but the other was waylaid where they abandoned the four people in the Toyota car who took control of the car as they escaped with it towards Somalia.
Increased attacks early this year in Dadaab refugee camp forced some aid agencies to scale down their operations following the fatal shootings of two leaders of the community peace and security teams (CPST) in less than a week.
Unknown gunmen killed Lutheran World Federation (LWF)’s peace committee chairperson in January. The chairperson had organized the refugees themselves to keep the camps safe for the more than 463,000 men, women and children mainly from Somalia.
Four unknown gunmen killed another Somali refugee leader in Dadaab camp again in January in the attacks targeting the refugee leaders at the camp. In another incident, Ahmed Mahmoud Mohamed, CPST chairperson for the Hagadera refugee camp, was shot dead on Dec. 29, 2011 by two unknown individuals near his house as he returned home in the evening.
The suspects are said to have disappeared in a waiting vehicle. The killers who are believed to the sympathizers’ of the Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab escaped after shooting the deceased without harming any other person or even stealing anything from the business premise.