Kenyan town attacked by Somali militia

May 27, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 27 – Seven people were wounded, three of them seriously following an attack by suspected members of the Al-Shabaab militia who raided a remote village in the outskirts of Wajir town on Thursday morning.

Police said those wounded are admitted to local district hospitals in Wajir but are in a stable condition, apart from two who are in need of urgent specialised medical attention.

Local police and the Provincial Administration said they had received reports of missing persons following the attack, but there was no immediate confirmation of abduction by the militiamen.

The attack occurred at about 1am at a manyatta in Dadajabula region, a remote village located 15 Kilometers from Liboi near the border of Kenya and Somalia, according to area Provincial Commissioner James Ole Serian.

“The incident is under investigation, but we have beefed up security along that border area to safeguard our country against such attacks,” he said. “It is unfortunate that this happened and people have been injured.”

Ole Serian told Capital News the men suspected to be members of the Al-Shabaab militia were in two pick-up trucks during the raid at Dadajabula village.  They opened fire at villagers before they fled back into Somalia.

“We do not know specifically which militia group it was because there are a lot of small groups of militias operating in Somalia, but we suspect it has something to do with Al Shabaab,” he said on telephone from Garisa, the Provincial Headquarters of North Eastern Province.

He said it was not immediately established how many militiamen were involved in the night attack.

“We have also received reports of three missing people from the village, we do not know if they were abducted or just fled their homes during the attack, those are some of the issues that are being investigated,” Mr Ole Serian said.

“We are pursuing them, but we are also seeking to know their motive,” he added.

A senior police officer involved in the disarmament exercise in the Eastern and North Eastern region told Capital News detectives were probing reports that the raid was aimed at settling an unspecified business rivalry with their counterparts on the Kenyan side.

Other sources in the intelligence circles in Nairobi however, said the motive of the attack was more to do with rival support some businessmen in Wajir are giving to one of the militia groups in Somalia.

When asked to confirm that the area PC said: “Those are matters we are investigating, we cannot give that conclusion now. But we are investigating the involvement of Al Sunna, Al Shabaab and Isbul Islam.”

Mr Ole Serian said a combined force of the army, General Service Unit (GSU) and regular police were combing the area.

Hours after the attack, Kenya’s top security chiefs held a meeting in Nairobi to review the security situation in the country.

The meeting which was described as routine kicked off shortly before 1 pm at Harambee House.

Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti chaired the meeting that was being attended by Military chief Jeremiah Kianga, National Security Intelligence Service Director Brigadier Michael Gichangi and Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere among others.

The agenda of the meeting was not yet clear but it was said to have been scheduled even before the attack in Northern Kenya.

The meeting was also expected to get a brief in an investigation on the alteration of the proposed Constitution.


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