NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 2 – Five bodies of the six people who were killed after Al Shabaab attackers opened fire at buses ferrying passengers in Mandera on Friday have been airlifted to Nairobi and are now at the Forces Memorial Hospital Mortuary.
Two critically wounded passengers were also airlifted and taken to the Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment.
Families and friends who had camped at the Wilson Airport on Saturday afternoon waiting to receive the bodies were denied access and were only told that they would be contacted soon.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Leo Ogola said there had not been any communication from the government on the way forward, since he received the news of his brother’s demise.
“We were told that the bodies will be brought here today at 11am and when the plane touched down we could not get close, we are now heading to Forces Memorial Hospital Mortuary to find out what next,” Ogola said.
He lost his brother Maurice Ochieng who was a mechanic with the Easy Couch bus that was attacked by the Al Shabaab on Friday.
“I met him on Wednesday, he came to my house since we had a family meeting that’s where he informed me that he is going to Mandera on Thursday. I didn’t know it was the last day of seeing him, he is no more. It broke my heart when the news was delivered to me by the company,” he said.
Ochieng 30, had a young family with two kids aged three and six years.
Just like Ogola, Francis Atiti was also shocked when he received the news of his colleague, Justus Tobino’s death in the attack.
Atiti says Tobino had gone to Mandera for field work for a month and was on his way back when the attack happened.
“Tobino had gone to service some machines; he called the office, and said that their bus had been attacked, and then he started screaming. That was the end to that story. He was a young hard working man, the hardest part was to tell his young family… he has four kids,” Atiti narrated.
At least six people were killed during the attack that occurred between Wargadud and Elwak where terrorists sprayed the moving buses with bullets.
“Police on the scene have found six persons shot dead and have rescued two,” Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said Thursday. “The hunt for the terrorists is underway.”
The attack came hours after the US issued a travel advisory to its citizens, citing areas such as Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and parts of coast province due to imminent attacks.
The US wants Americans to be cautious when visiting areas such as Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi, Malindi among others-seen as potential terror targets.
“In Mombasa, the US Embassy recommends US citizens visit Old Town only during daylight hours, and avoid using Likoni ferry due to safety concerns,” the advisory dated June 30 states.
“To be safe, you should review your personal security plans, remain aware of your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events,” the advisory to Americans reads in part.
But in a quick rejoinder, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho sought to assure the world that Kenya is safe, after America issued a new travel advisory on to citizens.
“There is no cause to worry at all because adequate measures have been put in place to secure the country,” he told Capital FM News on Friday when reached on telephone.