SHOOTOUT

Gunman killed in Mandera shootout, five AK47 rifles recovered

Five AK47 rifles with more than 500 bullets found on the suspect

In Summary
  • A group of four was riding on a motorbike when the police spotted them in Kutulo area
  • Insecurity in the region has negatively affected developments and operations
The assortment of weapons recovered from suspected al-shabaab terrorist on Sept 2 in Mandera
Image: NPS

A gunman believed to be a member of al Shabaab was shot dead in a clash with police in Kutulo, Mandera county, and five rifles recovered from him.

The incident happened on Thursday afternoon when a team of officers from the special operation group found gunmen in Kutaiyo area.

Police said members of the elite group were patrolling the area when they came across four gunmen who were riding on a motorcycle.

This prompted a shootout that led to the killing of one of the gunmen while the rest escaped on the motorcycle.

Apart from the five AK47 rifles, police said they also recovered more than 500 assorted bullets and ammunition.

No police officer was injured in the incident that happened near the Kenya-Somalia border.

A search in the area for more suspects did not bear fruit.

Northeastern regional police boss Rono Bunei said officers had intensified patrols in the region to address sporadic attacks from al Shabaab militants and their sympathisers.

He urged for cooperation from residents in efforts to address insecurity, which has among others affected transport, education and general development.

“We must work together to ensure we tame these activities which are hampering development. It is everyone's duty to ensure there is security,” Bunei said.

The area has been facing security challenges in the past months due to attacks by al Shabaab militants who cross from the Somalia border.

Tens of people have died, scores wounded and property destroyed in the repeated attacks.

The areas, which include Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Lamu are near the Kenya-Somalia border, which makes it easier for the militants to attack at will.

Research by government security agencies says 30 per cent of the country’s security problems are traced to the porous Somalia border often penetrated by terrorists.

The attacks had in June 2021 grounded operations in the neighbouring Mandera county as most roads were rendered impassable.

The rich used air travel as the poor remained stranded.

Security agencies have not been spared in the attacks.

In June, the Mandera county government was forced to stop movement of their vehicles, over increasing terror related incidents in the area.

The area of attack in the northern part of the county, has been a safe area since 2013 but has lately been a soft target.

Police have been mounting operations.

The terrorists have been targeting security installations in the area in a series of incidents and destroying them.

This has affected among others the education sector, forcing tens of teachers who are non-locals to flee.

The border region has borne the brunt of repeated attacks from the militants who are at times aided by residents.

The terrorists conduct attacks after breaching security zones, which leave dozens of civilians and security officials dead or wounded.

 

Edited by CM