TERROR ATTACK

Six killed in al Shabaab midnight raid on police camp near Dadaab

The victims included three children and a teacher

In Summary

• The militants, estimated to have been 12, struck at around 1am, targeting the officers manning the Saretho police barrier, the police camp and a Safaricom mast.

• On Sunday, the militants attacked Camp Simba, a joint US-Kenya military base on Manda Island in neighbouring Lamu, killing three Americans.

Former northeastern regional commissioner Mohamed Birik
AL SHABAAB ATTACK Former northeastern regional commissioner Mohamed Birik
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Six people, among them four Kenyans, were killed early Tuesday in an al Shabaab raid near Saretho police camp, 25 kilometres from the Dadaab refugee camp.

The other two were al Shabaab militants who were felled in the shootout with security personnel.

Dadaab deputy county commissioner Kibet Bowen said the Kenyans – a teacher and three children – were killed by stray bullets as they slept near the police camp.

The militants, estimated to have been 12, struck at around 1am, targeting the officers manning the Saretho police barrier, the police camp and a Safaricom mast.

Kibet said security officers promptly repulsed the attack.

“Our officers responded swiftly and managed to kill two of them and recovered two AK 47 rifles and two Improvised explosive devices. A search for their accomplices who escaped on foot towards the Kenya Somali border is ongoing,” he said by phone.

Except for the four attack victims, everybody else was accounted for, the administrator said.

“None of our officers was injured. We also don’t have any missing teacher as it had been earlier reported. The Safaricom mat was also not destroyed," he said.

Police spokesman Charles Owino said, “Security has been beefed up in the area”. 

Garissa county commissioner Meru Mwangi did not divulge the details of the raid when the Star contacted him by phone, promising to do so "later". He had not done so by press time.

The attack on the Safaricom mast was meant to impair communication and stop the security officers from pursuing the raiders.

“When you attack and destroy a communication mast you affect many issues including operations,” Kibet said.

Last week, the government replaced regional commissioner Mohamed Birik with Musyoka Ndalama, a former NIS head of border control frontier. Birik was recalled to Harambee House.

Terror activities have been on the rise in the recent past, prompting heightened special forces presence in urban centres.

On Sunday, the terrorists attacked Camp Simba, a joint US-Kenya military base on Manda Island in Lamu. They killed three Americans and destroyed six aircraft and vehicles. Five of the terrorists were killed.

Last Thursday, the al Shabaab militants killed three people in a Lamu-bound bus at Nyongoro.along the Lamu-Garsen highway.