Sunday, December 30, 2012
By Abdisalan Ahmed and Cyrus Ombati
GARISSA; KENYA: A chief and his assistant were on Saturday evening arrested in Garissa after a botched attack on an Administration Police (AP) post in Bulla Argi.
The two were arrested after a suspected gunman passed through the AP compound attracting the attention of the officers on guard who opened fire.
The lone gunman escaped under a hail of bullets.
Garissa County Commissioner Mohamud Maalim confirmed the botched attack on the security officers and urged the local community to volunteer information that will lead to the arrest of the gunman.
"We all have to be on the watch for any suspicious movement of people and security officers can win the war against criminals with the support of the people", Maalim said.
A Garissa businessman who tried to secure the release of the two chiefs was also briefly detained by police but later set free and asked to report to the Garissa police station on Monday.
Mr Hassan Barre who is a brother to Dujis MP Aden Dualle told the Standard he had gone to the station to know the fate of the two chiefs but was himself put to task.
"The police are acting with abandon and don't want reason to prevail", Barre told the Standard.
Police said they had been on alert over the festive season following reports militants planned an attack on them and other installations.
“We understand the attacker ran to a place known to the administrators and that is why we are holding them for questioning,” said a senior police officer.
A police officer was Thursday night shot dead and robbed his rifle in an attack by suspected militants in Mandera Town near the volatile Kenya-Somalia border.
Constable Sammy Munene was on foot patrol with his colleague at about 9 pm when they were confronted and ambushed by three men armed with pistols.
The other colleague escaped unhurt after he ducked into a ditch and engaged the gunmen in a shoot out. The gang picked Munene's G3 rifle and escaped with it but dropped its magazine that had 19 bullets.
The killing of Munene is the latest incident targeting security agents and other government officials in the larger North Eastern region.
More than two dozens of security agents have been killed and similar number injured in well-coordinated attacks believed to be staged by Somalia's Al- Shabaab militants.
Police say terror threats are still rife and are calling for public vigilance.
Security agents have blamed such incidents on some of the refugees who have been masquerading and later left their camps for various urban towns with a mission.
Internal security PS Mutea Iringo said most Somali refugees were roaming in the country instead of being at the refugee camps where they are registered and blamed them for the insecurity situation.
Iringo said the government was in talks with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to have them sent back home since normalcy has returned in Somalia.
Officials say a message intercepted from the Somali Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab shows the rebels are being offered up to Sh890,000 to kill Kenyan security officers.
Maalim said the rewards are enough incentive to motivate some youths in the eastern Kenyan county to carry out attacks against Kenyan army and police.
The pay by Al-Shabaab varies with the security officer's rank.
Maalim said local Somalis are responsible for recent attacks on Kenyan security forces that have caused the deaths of 10 police and four soldiers in North Eastern Kenya.
Kenya has experienced a string of gun and grenade attacks since it sent troops into Somalia to pursue Al-Shabaab rebels.