Swift action by police thwarts Al-Shabaab attack in Mandera
A combined team of security officers on Saturday thwarted a planned terror attack after ambushing the attackers in their hideout in Elwak, Mandera South sub-county.
Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said the combined forces tracked the Al-Shabaab militants from as early as 6am on Saturday.
“We received information as early as 6am that the militants had crossed into Kenya within Elwak area. The security teams caught up with them at about 2pm,” said Mr Shisia.
He said the officers encountered three suspected Al-Shabaab militants at Dabacity area along the Elwak-Kotulo road.
“We recovered four magazines of 7.62mm special calibre, five mobile phones, two Somali National Army (SNA) jackets, one police pocket phone, three jerricans of water and assorted clothes,” said Mr Shisia.
He said the terrorists were hiding at Qoble with an intention of attacking buses plying the road but took off on seeing police officers.
Mr Shisia said one of the terror group members was perched on a tree and spotted the security officers before alerting others who took off leaving their equipment.
He said the militants did not engage in a gunfight with the security officers.
“The recovered mobile phones will go a long way in helping us with our investigations,” said Mr Shisia.
He said the mobile phones would be used to establish locals who might have been communicating with the Al-Shabaab militants.
However, Mr Shisia could not confirm whether the recovered mobile phones had Kenyan or Somali communication network service providers.
“We shall get more details about the sim-cards once the experts handle them but they are very useful to us in the fight against terror,” he said.
Last week, police shot dead a suspected Al-Shabaab member in the same area. The County Commissioner assured road users that the area was safe and secure.
“We are in control and I assure road users to go on with their plans since there is nothing to worry about,” he said.
He said the government was aware the enemy was operating in small groups from different areas in Mandera.