NAIROBI, Kenya May 12 – A police officer and a civilian were shot dead in an attack at a police station in Mandera, hours after the government deployed the military to disarm militia in the restive border town.
The Saturday night incident occurred when gunmen stormed Mandera police station and opened fire indiscriminately at officers having meals at the canteen.
“One (police) officer and a civilian died on the spot while several others were wounded,” a police officer told Capital FM News soon after the attack.
Regional police chief Charlton Mureithi confirmed the incident. “We had an attack with one fatality, and injuries on other officers.”
He said those wounded were admitted to hospital with injuries.
The attack occurred hours after Deputy President William Ruto announced the deployment of the military to the volatile region.
On Sunday, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo flew to the troubled region for the second time in less than a month to assess the situation that is threatening to get out of hand.
The military was sent to disarm local and foreign militia operating in the border town on Saturday, but a police officer speaking to Capital FM News from the area said even residents were armed.
The deputy President said it had become necessary to send the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to the border town “because police have been unable to tackle the insecurity menace”. Military personnel were also be deployed to neighbouring towns of Garissa and Wajir.
“The government on our part, we have agreed that we are going to increase the presence of security personnel in the county and already last (Friday) night we did get the military to post men who are already present in the county to disarm all militias; both local and foreign in the county,” Ruto said on Saturday when he met Members of Parliament from North Eastern Province.
The meeting was called following Friday’s intense fighting between militiamen from the Garre and Degodia clans which left eight people dead and more than 20 others wounded.
“We have agreed unanimously with all these leaders that they will support the government efforts to turn around the security situation in the county and make sure that all hostility going around in Mandera County is brought to an end,” the deputy President said.
He further revealed that talks were underway between the Kenyan government and Ethiopian authorities to ensure that foreign militia does not keep on crossing the border to the Kenyan side.
“We have also agreed to engage with the friendly government of Ethiopia to deal with the militia situation in Mandera County. Already a diplomatic engagement is going to be initiated to deal with the matter within the border,” he said.
The deputy president said he had instructed the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo to send more police officers to the region to guarantee locals of their security after most schools failed to re-open for fear of attacks.
“About 15 schools have not opened for second term. We directed security officers to ensure all affected schools are facilitated to re-open and for children to go back to their respective schools,” he added.
The government has assured that it will assist in the provision of food and non- food items to the 5000 persons currently displaced by the skirmishes in the County and also assist them resettle back to their homes.