One person arrested in connection with Mandera quarry attack

One person has been arrested in connection with the killing of four quarry workers by suspected Al-Shabaab militants two weeks ago at Shimbir Fatuma, in Mandera County.

Speaking to the press at the Garissa Airstrip on Monday, North Eastern Regional Commissioner, Mohamud Saleh who did not disclose the identity of the suspect, said that the attack was carried out by local Al-Shabaab operatives residing within the area.

Saleh said the remaining suspects who are on the run will be arrested ‘very’ soon. He added, We have their names and identity with us. They are people who are known and we shall get them. They cannot run out of our sight, Saleh said.

He reiterated that those behind the heinous attack along the border ‘were our own local boys’ recruited by the Somalia based Al-Shabaab terror group.

These days we get a lot of information, thanks to members of the public who are really cooperating with the security apparatus in sharing crucial leads which we keep in confidence, he said.

Saleh said the Mandera attackers took advantage of the heavy rains that have been pounding the region, rendering roads impassable and hampering movements of security officers patrolling the border to carry out the attacks.

I still want to assure residents of Mandera that we are on high alert to avert any attacks, especially during the month of Ramadhan that is set to start on Wednesday, he added.

Meanwhile, Saleh has defended the closure of the quarry, saying that it was impossible for any meaningful activity to go on there since ‘all the quarry mines are full of water as a result of the heavy rains’.

Saleh said the decision will be reviewed in a months’ time, with the view of opening them if need be.

Last week, a section of area leaders led by Governor, Ali Roba criticized the government’s decision to close down the quarry fields terming it as ”as the most ridiculous any government can make.’

Roba said the decision was counterproductive, adding that ‘matters security is not approached in a reactive manner’.

On his part, Mandera East MP, Omar Mohamed said closing down the quarries would not help solve the problem and instead urged the government to explore other options of sorting out the problem that has become a thorn in the flesh for the national government.

Hundreds of quarry workers who are always seen as soft targets by the militants have been killed in Mandera, since the Al-Shabaab launched attacks inside the country in 2011 to ‘protest incursion of KDF’s into war torn Somalia.

Source: Kenya News Agency