NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – Police officers on Thursday thwarted an attempted terror attack at Yumbis village in Ijara constituency within Garissa County by Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militia.
The Al-Shabaab militants were detected by members of public at around 6pm who alerted detectives, according to the Interior Ministry.
The security officers acted swiftly to prevent another deadly attack of innocent Kenyans after the recent Garissa University College attack that claimed 147 lives.
Interior Ministry Spokesman Mwenda Njoka said in a statement that police engaged in a gun battle with the militants although no arrest or casualties were reported.
“The government commends members of the public for taking pro-active action to report the sighting of these Ugus (the militants) and urges Kenyans to continue collaborating with security agents to ensure that members of this group who might have taken refuge among innocent locals are flushed out,” he stated.
Police are now appealing to the area residents to offer any information that may lead to their whereabouts as they still pose a security threat.
The government has continued to enhance security measures across the country more so to the North Eastern part of the country that remain prone to terror attacks due to its porous border with the war torn Somalia.
Al-Shabaab has claimed most of attacks in the region that left a number of people, most non-residents dead.
As a part of the measures put in place include transfer of Dadaab refugee camp hosting 600,000 Somali refugees and believed to be a terror breeding site.
Though gradual, the Government has vowed to ensure the camp, the largest in the world is transferred to safer parts of Somalia.
The government is also working on a de-radicalization programme for youths who are being lured to join Al-Shabaab even as reports says tens of young men in the country has since joined the militants.
Three hundred and twelve people were killed in terrorism-related attacks in Kenya between 2012 and 2014, according to a police report.
Police say terror attacks in the 24 months also left 779 people injured, with counties bordering Somalia being the worst hit.
The year 2014 had the highest number of deaths resulting from terror attacks at 173, with Lamu County accounting for 67 deaths, while Mandera saw 64 people killed.
The militants have attributed their attack to the continued presence of Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia that has hugely destabilised the group after the seizure of Kismayu port, the operating centre.
Though under pressure from the Opposition, President Uhuru Kenyatta has maintained his ground saying withdrawal of the forces will expose the country more since the militants will have ‘fertile’ operating grounds.