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February 21, 2019

Restoration of mast destroyed by al Shabaab in Ijara almost complete

Safaricom mast in Hulugho town, Ijara constituency /STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Safaricom mast in Hulugho town, Ijara constituency /STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Reinstallation of the Safaricom mast destroyed by al Shabaab militants in Ijara town last December is nearing completion.

The militia also razed Ijara police station and made away with a vehicle and ammunition.

Residents have had to travel more than 100km to Masalani town to access services. The militants are suspected to be hiding in Boni Forest.

Hulugho deputy  county commissioner Richard Siele said residents will have access to the network in a month. He said the mast will be under  24-hour security.

Siele said a multi-agency team including Kenya Defence Forces, police, reservists and the Rapid Deployment Unit have been traversing the area to weed out militants.

He appealled to residents to volunteer information on suspicious activity and guaranteed confidentiality.

Residents commended area MP Sophia Abdi, who was among leaders who pushed for the reinstallment of the mast.

Speaking to the Star on Saturday, Abdi commended the government for its efforts to improve security in the border town, saying residents deserve government protection.

 “We all know what insecurity can do to an area. My constituency has been one of the most affected as a result of constant attacks by the militants. It’s my hope and prayer that we don’t hear of any other attack,” she said.

Meanwhile, police reservist Yahya Osman was hijacked two nights ago by gunmen who took his AK-47 rifle, masked him then left with him for Boni Forest.

 A wittiness who requested anonymity  said the incident happened past midnight on Wednesday

Peace elders and community policing elders were gathering information from locals and are aliasing with the multi agency security operations working in the area to try and get him back from the hands of the militants.  

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