The Star (Nairobi)

3 October 2012

Kenya: Grenade Attack Hits Garissa Police Post

Unknown assailants on Monday night hurled a hand grenade and fired bullets at Iftin police post two kilometres from Garissa town. No one was hurt in the 9pm attack.

Witnesses said they saw three people in balaclavas at the shopping centres before they heard explosion. Bernard Gitonga, a miraa trader at the Iftin shopping centre said three people approached his shop armed with guns.

Another witness, Kelvin Misiko said the assailants fired at his shop, "I switched off the lights and lay on the floor. The attackers must have thought they killed us because they left," he said.

Garissa Deputy police boss Chemonges Ndiema said the police on duty exchanged fire with the attackers for more than 30 minutes before the attackers fled.

Police demolished makeshift structures near the police station as they could provide a harbour the criminals. They conducted a house-to-house search for the suspected al Shabaab militias.

However, leaders and residents complained of police harassment during the search. Dujis MP Aden Dualle claimed the police used excessive force on the residents.

He said more than twenty people were injured during the search. The MP asked the PC and PPO to explain to residents why the police vented their anger on them.

Northern Forum for Democracy director khalif Abdi Farah condemned the police for the use of excessive force on innocent wananchi. The incident comes two day after two police officers were killed while on patrol. They were among a group of recruits posted to Garissa recently.

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