About 50 heavily armed suspected Al-Shabaab militants on Thursday morning attacked two police camps in Lafey Sub-county in Mandera, killing one police officer and burning down four vehicles.
According to North Eastern Regional Coordinator (RC), Amb. Mohamud Saleh, the attackers, who were in a groups of three, divided themselves with one attacking a regular police camp, the other went for the Administration Police (AP) camp and the last group going for the Safaricom mast but were immediately repulsed by security officers manning the facility.
According to a source, one police officer was seriously injured while a woman whose house was next to the police station was also injured by a stray bullet that hit her in the head during the 2.30 am incident.
The police managed to kill one militant and injured another in an ensuing fierce gun battle that lasted for hours.
Amb. Saleh said the slain officer, whose identity could not be immediately established, was killed outside his house and dismissed reports that he was butchered by the militants.
Talking to KNA on phone, Saleh said the four vehicles caught fire when the militants fired Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) at them from a distance, adding that two of the vehicles were already grounded.
They (militants) who seemed well vast with the terrain and organized in their operations then left with a DCI vehicle towards Somalia about 8 Km away with the body of the killed colleague and the injured one on board, the source added.
The RC said police at the scene recovered magazines and ammunitions belonging to the militants.
Our officers managed to recover several magazines and ammunitions at the scene that belonged to them. All our officers were accounted for contrary to earlier reports that there are some who were either missing or had been kidnapped, Saleh said.
The attack that comes barely four days to the General Elections raises a lot of fears among the residents in the region that has borne the brunt of terror attacks due to its proximity to war torn Somalia where the militants have bases.
Saleh, however, assured the residents of the region and especially those at the border towns that the government was working round the clock to ensure that there was peace and security during the Tuesday elections.
Source: Kenya News Agency