, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – Security forces are on high alert at the Kenya-Somalia border after Al-Shabaab militants engaged them in a fierce gun fight as they attempted to cross over into Mandera.
The Tuesday night incident prompted the government to deploy more security forces to the porous border which remained tense for the better part of Wednesday.
Sources told Capital News that the militiamen had opened fire at a contingent of security forces manning the border near Liboi police post as they made an attempt to enter Kenya.
On Wednesday, no official was willing to comment on the number of casualties that might have resulted from the attack.
Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia told journalists more reinforcements had been deployed to the border town and other neighbouring areas to keep away the militia group that has been fighting with troops of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.
He warned the militants to "keep their war in Somalia and stop interfering with our security here."
"I don\’t know why Al Shabaab keeps on threatening our security at the border with Somalia. We are not at war with them, why can\’t they direct their war to their country," he posed.
"They tried to cross the border last (Tuesday) night but our security forces were able to repulse them. We will not allow them to threaten peace here. They should keep their war in Somalia," he said during the graduation of District Officers and chiefs at the Administration Police College in Embakasi, Nairobi.
Mr Kimemia warned "if they try again to cross the border, we shall show them (our might)."
The PS said the provincial administration had put in place adequate security measures in Mandera and other neighbouring towns where residents were ordered to remain indoors at night "due to the security operation there."
"It is not a curfew, but because of the security operation that is going on, residents have been ordered to remain indoors at night," he said.
The militia group has been fighting with TFG troops since last month, resulting in the death of a woman and injuries to dozens of people who were hit by stray bullets in Mandera.
Military Spokesman Bogita Ongeri said adequate security forces from the army were on the ground to ensure maximum security at the border towns.
"There should be no cause for alarm, our country is safe, the war is not on our side, it is happening several kilometres in Somalia but our security forces are firmly at the border," he said.
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