Militants strike at 1 am, destroy a diesel generator that powers the mast before security officers repulsed them
Al Shabaab militants on Wednesday attacked a Safaricom mast in Diiso in Fafi constituency, Garissa county before they were repulsed by police.
The seven terrorists destroyed a diesel generator that powers the mast during the 1am attack before security officers responded.
It had been initially claimed the 21 police officers at the Diiso camp were missing following the attack and that the mast had been completely destroyed .
However, Northeastern regional commissioner Mohamed Birik said the claims were untrue.
Speaking to the star on phone, Birik said the militants wanted to completely destroy the mast but a quick response by police repulsed them.
“I want to confirm that all our officers have been accounted for and not even one of them has been injured or kidnapped as it is alleged on social media. I want to appeal to people to stop spreading rumours and unverified information because doing so only serves to create unnecessary tension and fear,” Birik said.
A police officer attached to the camp who spoke to the star said the militants were seeking to attack the station and steal guns.
“Their intention was not only to destroy the mast but to completely overrun the station and make away with ammunitions like has happened in previous attacks. They chose to attack at night because they thought we would be asleep. But we are always alert,” he said.
Birik said a reinforcement team of security officers led by Garissa county police commander Alfred Ongengo was already in the area to assess the situation.
He said police were pursuing the attackers who fled towards the Kenya/Somalia border.
“Our teams are already on the ground. Efforts are being made to pursue the militants. We have also stepped up operations along the border, not only in Garissa but across the region,” Birik said.
The administrator allayed fears of terrorist attacks, saying security officers across the region were on high alert as the festive season approaches.
“Kenyans should be assured that their security is well-taken care of. Our officers are alert and working round the clock to ensure everyone remains safe. Let everybody go about their normal business without fear.”
The militants have fin the past targeted communications masts with the hope it will prevent people from sharing information about their movement and activities.
edited by p. obuya