Al-Shabaab attack, destroy communication mast in Mandera

Gunmen believed to Al-Shabaab militants attacked and destroyed a communication mast in Sarman area, Mandera County leaving many out of reach.

This is the latest such incident to happen in a series that have been reported.

Witnesses said there were about 50 men roaming the area before and after the attack.

Governor Ali Roba said the incident happened more than 200 kilometres away from Somalia border.

“While our security managers have trivialized the worsening security situation in Mandera another telecommunication mast was destroyed last night by suspected Alshabab in Sarman,” said Roba on his Twitter handle.

He seemed to respond to denial by the government that the militia had taken over most routes in the area.

No injury was reported in the latest incident. The masts are usually manned by police officers in the region.

Officials said the Tuesday night incident was the 12th so far this year in Mandera which has left more than three people dead, three abducted and property destroyed.

On Tuesday, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i downplayed claims of Al-Shabaab militants dominating Northern Kenya.

He termed the claims as lies being peddled by the local leaders.

Whereas he acknowledged that the security threat in the area remains real due to its strategic location with war-torn Somalia, he said the situation is not as dire as a section of local politicians has alleged.

Matiang’i said he is set to meet the area leaders soon over a security challenge that has disrupted the normal lives of residents and has claimed tens of lives this year alone.

Some schools are yet to reopen despite a government directive, local leaders have claimed.

“If you look at the investment that we have made as a government in Northern Kenya and specifically in the war against terror, it speaks for itself,” he said.

He made the remarks after a meeting with leaders from Wajir, Garissa, and Isiolo Counties.

The terrorists have been targeting security installations in the area in a series of incidents destroying them.

This has affected the education sector forcing tens of teachers who are non-locals to leave there.

The border region has borne the brunt of repeated attacks from the militants who are at times aided by locals. Somalia has not had a stable government after the fall of Siad Barre in 1991.

The area is near the Somalia border and the militants usually cross at will and stage attacks before escaping back.

Al-Shabaab terrorists have been attacking places in the region especially in Mandera and Garissa counties after breaching security zones, which left dozens of civilians and security officials dead and wounded.

The terrorists have been planting explosives on the routes used by the security agencies attacking them. More personnel have since been sent to the area and operations by the Border Patrol Unit heightened to tame the surge.

Kenyan troops are in Somalia to pursue and suppress the activities of the terror group.

Source: The Star