Suspected Al-Shabaab Militants Spotted In Mandera, Public Transport Halted

A bus on streets of Mandera town on June 9, 2019. Public transport has been suspended due to al-Shabaab terror threat / Courtesy

Public transport was on Sunday morning suspended in Mandera County after suspected Al-Shabaab militants were spotted along Rhamu-Elwak Road.

Following the terror threat alert, buses plying the Mandera-Nairobi route were the most affected as hundreds of passengers were left stranded.

According to County Police Commander Jeremiah ole Kosiom, security agencies needed time to respond before public vehicles are allowed back on the roads.

Read: Two Teachers Killed After Alshabaab Militants Attack School In Mandera

“We received information that suspected al-Shabaab militants, who were targeting public transport, had been sighted along the Mandera-Rhamu-Elwak road on Sunday, ” he said.

The police boss said his officers are on the ground and normalcy will resume soonest.

The security teams have launched an operation at Bambo, Chabi-bar, Selukatiffa, Rhamu and Elwak areas.

Also Read: Wanted! Police Release Photos Of Al-shabaab Terrorists Connected To Dusit D2 Attack

“Our officers are already on the ground to ensure that all is well before the public transport resumes,” said Mr Kosiom.

Following the Monday morning suspension, Chairman Mandera Bus Owners Association Mohamed Farah Bardad confirmed that security teams had consulted with them before halting transportation. He, however, blamed the police for sharing the information late.

“Mandera Bus Owners Association is aware of the suspension and we are supporting it because we want to operate in a secure environment. Our services shall resume immediately police assures us of the security on the road,” said Mr Bardad.

Also Read: Wanted! Police Release Photos Of Al-shabaab Terrorists Connected To Dusit D2 Attack

The suspension comes amid security reports that al-Shabaab militants were planning retaliatory attacks after their camp was raided last weekend at Dawanabu camp. One terrorist was gunned down and his firearm confiscated.

During the incident, one National Police Reservist (NPR) was killed and another injured.

“We believe many others escaped with bullet wounds and the operation is ongoing. They had bad intentions in the area,” North Eastern Regional Commissioner Mohamed Birik said.

Also Read: 5 KDF Soldiers Killed In Lamu After Vehicle Runs Over An IED

The gang had crossed camped inside Kenya when the agencies got news of their presence and moved there in an operation. The fighting went into Monday midnight amid fears of more casualties.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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