Thursday August 26, 2021
by CYRUS OMBATI
MISSION NOT KNOWN: Part of the guns and bullets that were recovered after a shootout in Wajir on August 24. Image: HANDOUT
Two gunmen were killed in a police shootout at Dadajabula area, Wajir county, on Tuesday.
Police recovered four AK47 rifles and over 300 bullets.
Among those killed was a local police reservist, who many believe had gone rogue.
The second victim was not immediately identified.
According to police, a team was patrolling in Dabadarer area in Habaswen subcounty when they met the gunmen, prompting a shootout.
The police reservist was found to be from neighbouring Dadaab division but it is believed he was on a mission in the area.
Apart from the 316 bullets found on them, police say they also recovered 14 empty magazines, two military smoke jackets, four mobile phones and a solar panel.
Their mission was not immediately known.
North eastern regional police boss Rono Bunei said they had intensified patrols in the region to address sporadic attacks from al Shabaab militants and their sympathisers.
He urged for cooperation from residents in efforts to address insecurity which has among others affected transport, education and general development.
“We must work together to ensure we tame these activities which are hampering development. It is everyone's duty to ensure there is security,” Bunei said.
The area has been facing security challenges in the past months due to attacks by al Shabaab militants who cross from the Somalia border.
Tens of people have died, scores wounded and property destroyed in the repeated attacks.
The areas, which include Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Lamu are near the Kenya-Somalia border, which makes it easier for the militants to attack at will.
Research by government security agencies says 30 per cent of the country’s security problems are traced to the porous Somalia border often penetrated by terrorists.
The attacks had in June 2021 grounded operations in the neighbouring Mandera county as most roads were rendered impassable.
The rich used air travel as the poor remained stranded.
Security agencies have not been spared in the attacks.
In June, the Mandera county government was forced to stop movement of their vehicles, over increasing terror related incidents in the area.
The area of attack in the northern part of the county, has been a safe area since 2013 but has lately been a soft target.
Police have been mounting operations.
The terrorists have been targeting security installations in the area in a series of incidents and destroying them.
This has affected among others the education sector, forcing tens of teachers who are non-locals to flee.
The border region has borne the brunt of repeated attacks from the militants who are at times aided by residents.
The terrorists conduct attacks after breaching security zones, which leave dozens of civilians and security officials dead or wounded.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)