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Officer killed, another injured in Garissa

The Standard Digital News
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A policeman was killed and another seriously injured by gunmen in Lagdera along the Kenya-Somalia border.

The officers were patrolling the area when gunmen believed to be remnants of Somalia’s Al Shabaab militants attacked them.

Their attackers sprayed their vehicle with bullets during the Monday evening incident — the latest targeting security agents since Kenyan troops moved into Somalia.

A police helicopter was to airlift the injured officer from Dadaab refugee camp to Nairobi for further treatment.

Kenya has been hit by a wave of grenade and bomb attacks since its troops entered Somalia last October. The attackers have targeted Kenya’s northeast, the capital Nairobi and Mombasa, threatening the country’s lucrative tourist trade.

Seriously wounded

Last Thursday, two people were shot and seriously wounded by gunmen along the Mandera-Garissa road.

The officers were attacked in Arabia area as they raced towards Garissa town at about 9am. Area deputy OCPD John Mbaluka, who escaped narrowly, said the attackers were about 40.

Mr Mbaluka told The Standard on phone that he survived by a whisker and that among the wounded was his driver and another officer.

“They attacked us six times. In their final push, they stood in front of our vehicle and sprayed it with bullets. It is by the grace of God that I am alive. Their agenda was to finish us,” Mbaluka said.

One of the injured officers had a bullet lodged in the ribs while the other sustained injuries on the hand. They have been moved to Nairobi for treatment.

An Intelligence brief seen by The Standard indicated the attackers were members of Al Shabaab and had left Godondowe in Somalia and were dressed in Transitional Federal Government troops uniforms.

“They plan to strike Lafey, Arabia, Mandera, Elwak and Burahache at ago. The militia will be dressed in TFG uniforms as a disguise and will use both explosives and AK-47 rifles to cause serious impact. They target vital installations and government officials,” read part of the report.

It is not clear what action security agencies had taken to address the issue. Early this month, gunmen stormed two churches in Garissa town and killed 18 people and injured more than 60 others.

The police are yet to make any arrests but are pursuing several leads.

Acting Internal Security minister Yusuf Haji said they would send 700 additional security agents and 14 vehicles to beef up security in the area.


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