NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26 – Two police officers were killed and three others seriously injured in an attack at a police post in Mandera on Thursday morning.
The attack occurred when gunmen believed to be Al Shabaab stormed the police post and opened fire indiscriminately, including into police officers’ houses before setting more than 10 vehicles on fire.
“They were very brutal, they were out to kill because they were shooting directly into the houses (of police officers),” a police officer in the region said. “Two police officers were killed in the incident and there are others injured, about three of them.”
Area police Chief Charlton Mureithi said the attack occurred at 3am, while officers at the police post were asleep.
“We are pursuing them, there is a security operation that is going on after that attack that has left a lot of destruction, including death,” Mureithi said.
The incident follows Wednesday night’s attack in Wajir town where gunmen hurled two grenades at a market, killing one person. Four other people were wounded in the attack.
The attacks occurred even as Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Lenku assured Kenyans that security has been tightened across the country, following the Westgate terror attack.
“We have intensified our security all over the country, even at the border points and at our airports,” Lenku said at a briefing Wednesday while updating on the Westgate terror attack.
Local and Foreign experts deployed to the Westgate mall continued combing the bullet-riddled shops for explosives and other evidence on Thursday.
The experts had on Wednesday recovered five unexploded grenades last night and were now trying to establish the nature of other explosives used by the terrorists in their mission.
The Kenyan detectives are assisted in the forensic analysis by experts from Israel, UK, US and Germany.
Security sources say the detectives have already taken out samples, including finger prints from bodies found in the building to help them ascertain the identity and nationalities of the attackers.
They are particularly keen to establish if dangerous British woman Samantha Lewthwaite was involved in the attack, following accounts from victims.
Police are already holding eleven suspects – including a Briton who was arrested in a security operation in various parts of the city.
Police insist there are very few bodies of victims, if any, remaining inside the bullet-riddle shopping mall even as the Kenya Red Cross announced that 71 people are unaccounted for.
The official death toll stands at 61 civilians, six security forces and five terrorists thought to have been shot dead or blew themselves up during the confrontation.
Police were expected to start taking out bodies still trapped under the rubble in the building – including five belonging to people believed to be the attackers who were shot dead or blew up themselves.