NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – Over 100 people have been evacuated from a village in Mandera where 14 people were killed by Al Shabaab militants on Tuesday morning.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery says 136 people were safely evacuated in three aircrafts because they were facing imminent danger after the deadly attack.
Nkaissery has told a news conference that a major security operation comprising the military and national police is underway in the region that has been a target of terrorists in recent months.
“The intention of the heinous murderers was to take siege of the quarters with the aim of executing 150 residents of the estate; the attackers blew up the gates of the estate using the IEDs. Immediately the IED exploded police swung into action and engaged the attackers who had gained access into the estate and had started shooting residents at random,” he said
He says the swift response by the police repelled the attackers who fled back to Somalia.
“We suspect the attackers could have been having some collaborators and we are having leads on this, I can assure you if we had prior intelligence we would have prevented the attack. We have already put proper security officers on the ground in the whole of north eastern so it was just a matter of surprise,” he explained.
He said the Regional Coordinator was leading a mopping up security operation in the area in the wake of the attack.
“Once again this attack is a clear reminder that Al Shaabab and its collaborators are determined to disrupt and subvert our way of life, Kenya shall never be cowed to these evil murderers and our resolve to vanquish them remains resolute,” he said.
Kenyatta National Hospital CEO Lily Koros says they received eight victims from Mandera, two of whom are in a critical condition with gunshot wounds to the head.
“The patients are currently undergoing assessment from our multi-disciplinary team of specialists to determine the extent of the injuries, preliminary assessment indicates that most of the patients will undergo surgery,” she said.
The hospital has set up an information desk at the Accident and Emergency unit for tracing and to provide regular updates to the relatives on on-ongoing care of the patients.
The Islamic militants have stepped up their attacks during Muslim’s holy month of Ramadan. In the group’s deadliest attack to date, four gunmen killed 148 people, mostly students, at a university in the Kenyan town of Garissa in early April.
In 2013, four Shabaab gunmen killed at least 67 people in an assault on the Westgate Mall in the capital Nairobi.