19 June 2018

Kenya: Wajir Residents On the Spot After Deadly Tarbaj Attack

Photo: Shabelle News
Al-shabaab militants (file photo)

Grief and anger marked the burial of seven police officers killed on Sunday by Al-Shabaab militants who ambushed them in Bojigaras, Wajir County.

Six of them were buried at Ahmed Liban Cemetery while one was buried in Barwaqo area.

Emotions ran high as some of the family members struggled to come to terms with the snuffing of the young men's lives who had only been in the service for a few years.

Relatives said most of the slain officers' families depended on them for their livelihood.

Political leaders who attended the ceremony condemned the attack as cowardly and inhumane, urging the residents to work closely with security officers to avoid such incidences.

INTELLIGENCE REPORTS

Wajir County Governor Mohamed Abdi said that the officers paid the ultimate price while protecting our country.

Mr Abdi partly blamed local residents for the deadly attack, accusing them of failing to share information with security personnel.

The governor said the community was also to blame for the previous attack at Qarsa Primary School that left three dead, including two teachers.

"Those crying now because of the death of our sons could have prevented that incident (Qarsa attack) which happened last time," Mr Abdi said.

"I would like to tell our people that those militants are not our friends but foes. Recently, they killed the teachers and now they have killed your sons. We now appeal to you not to give them any chance to commit their evil acts," he said.

The governor also turned the heat on security agencies, accusing them of failing to act on intelligence reports.

"Our officers should stop sending their vehicles on such routes without taking necessary caution. [They knew] there were reports that the assailants had been seen in the area and even reported to have prayed in some mosques," he said.

The Wajir governor urged the security agencies to work together with the locals to avert similar attacks.

The governor cautioned Al-Shabaab sympathisers, warning them their days are numbered.

Former Wajir senator, Mr Abdirahman Hassan Olow, said security has worsened in the county after the Qarsa attack that almost crippled education sector in the Northeastern region.

"As county leaders, we cannot continue to have Al-Shabaab move from one centre to another in our county. I would like to suggest that we need a home-grown solution to this problem," he said.

Tarbaj MP Ahmed Bashane joined the leaders in condemning the killing of the police officers, urging the security forces to step up their efforts in fighting the terrorists.

Among those who died in the attack were five Administration Police officers and three National Police reservists.

Seven of the slain officers were Wajir residents while the eighth one hailed from Nyeri County. His body has been flown to his family for burial.

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