The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Police Kill Two Al-Shabaab Members in Mandera

Mandera Town — Police on Thursday night killed two suspected Al Shabaab members and thwarted twin terror attacks planned in Wajir and Mandera by the Al Qaeda linked group.

The militia had planned to execute simultaneous attacks on Kenya Power stations in Mandera and Wajir towns but were repulsed by police.

In the first incident, two suspected Al Shabaab terrorists, who were part of a gang of 30 planning to bomb the station in Mandera were shot dead after they fell into a police ambush at about 2am on Friday.

The attackers said to be aged between 18 and 24 years are said to have crossed into Kenya to disable the station and cut power supply to the border town before conducting more random attacks on unspecified targets.

Regional directorate of criminal investigations Musa Yego said two of the attackers were killed and several others escaped with injuries. He said an AK47 rifle with five magazines and 145 bullets, and two Improvised Explosive Devices were recovered.

He said police waited until the suspects entered the power station.

"I suspect the two groups had planned to strike Mandera and Wajir power plants simultaneously but we thwarted the attacks. We waited for them to enter the zone before ambushing them. The Mandera attack would have caused a total black out in the town. We are ready for them and will get them whenever we have information of their planned attacks," Yego said.

"There was an explosion at around 1:55am prompting our officers on night patrol to find out what was happening only to be fired at by these militias who were hiding in the bushes around the power station.

Police on patrol responded and killed two militia were killed but no officer was injured. One night watchman was short in the shoulder and is undergoing treatment at the Mandera County Referral Hospital," Mwivanda said.

The hospital's head of nursing Ibrahim Isaak said the KPLC guard, Adan Mohammed, is in a stable condition and can be discharged any time.

Mwivanda said a large number of the Somali youths who were injured during the attack have been arrested and are being interrogated.

"There is a lot of blood trails towards Somalia's Bula Hawa town, meaning they escaped with major injuries inflicted by our officers," he said.

Mwivanda attributed their success to recent reinforcement from graduates who left Kiganjo Training College.

"We have received a number of officers from college and this has boosted our operations in the county but we still need more as the Kenya-Somali border is too wide and porous," said Mwivanda.

He said police have adapted new strategies and tactics in fighting crime.

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