Grenade attack leaves 15 dead in Mandera

June 23, 2013 12:48 pm

, MANDERA-MAPSMANDERA, Kenya June 23 – At least fifteen people were killed and dozens wounded in a grenade attack in Mandera on Sunday afternoon.

The attack occurred at Choroka area in Banisa where two clans have been fighting since Friday night when five people were killed in the region.

According to police, a rocket propelled grenade was fired at a camp hosting internally displaced families from one of the warring communities, killing ten people on the spot.

“We have lost ten people after the grenade attack, those killed were in one of the IDP camp where people displaced in recent attacks have been staying,” a police officer in Mandera, who requested anonymity, said.

The Kenya Red Cross said it had dispatched a helicopter to evacuate the badly injured, including 17 who were said to be in a critical condition.

Police are investigating whether the attack was linked to the inter-clan fighting between members of the Garre and Degodia communities.

Kenya Red Cross volunteers are currently at the scene carrying out assessment and evacuation of affected families.

Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said “we have had a problem in the region since yesterday (Saturday); these two communities have been fighting but we deployed our officers to the ground. We have received reports of an attack and we are seeking to get the details.”

The attack occurred even as leaders from the region met officials from the National Cohesion and Integration Commission in Nairobi to reconcile the two warring communities.

On Saturday, four people were killed in Mandera while five others were killed in Wajir.

Police said those killed in Mandera include a Reservist who tried to intervene in the fighting between members of the two communities.

Tension remains high in the border towns even as more police officers deployed to maintain peace.

Meetings aimed at easing the tensions had been going on since Saturday led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji and Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale.

“We cannot start speculating on the cause of this insecurity, then there will be no need to meet with our people. Some of us don’t reside in the affected areas that is why we want to get it from the horses mouth,” said Haji.

“We are losing lives of women, children and the elderly, who are innocent. As leaders from this region, we have decided that we will sit down with religious and business leaders so that we can see how together with the help of the government we can find a lasting solution,” Garissa Township MP, Duale said.

Garissa and Mandera Counties have experienced a rise in insecurity lately following the deployment of Kenya Defense Forces into Somalia to dismantle the Al-Shaabab militants in the warring country.

MPs Barre Shil (Fafi), Adan Keynan (Eldas) and Wajir Senator Abdirahman Ali Hassan say the forums which will end on Monday will incorporate religious leaders in order to find a solution.

“The government has a prime responsibility to ensure that they protect the lives and properties of its citizenry; for the Mandera case there has been so much laxity or complicacy,” said Hassan.

“We would like to appeal to everybody to see sense and stop this unnecessary killings and wanton destruction of property,” added Shil.


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