Kenya: Isiolo Residents Live in Fear Over Rising Insecurity

18 August 2019

Residents of Bulapesa on the outskirts of Isiolo town are living in fear following the emergence of a terror gang.

The gang of six young men, said to be in their early 20s, armed with a gun and crude weapons has been stealing household items especially electronics and robbing business people.

SHOT TRADER

A 25-year-old man who was on Wednesday night assaulted by the gang that had shot and injured a shopkeeper near Pepo la Tumaini Primary School succumbed to his injuries on Saturday morning at Isiolo Referral Hospital.

The 42-year-old shopkeeper is nursing gunshot wounds at the same facility.

"Police arrived at the shooting scene 10 minutes later and rushed the two to hospital. The young man was unconscious while trader had several injuries on his face," a resident said.

Last week, another man was shot by the same gang at Soko Mjinga near Isiolo town as he defended his mother, a grocery seller, from being shot by the gang for refusing to give them the money. He is also nursing gunshot wounds at a local hospital.

Isiolo Sub-County Police Commander Moses Owiti said they had launched investigations into the matter.

PATROLS INTENSIFIED

Isiolo County Police Commander Joseph recently told media that they had intensified patrols and set up a crime reporting office in the area.

A victim told the Nation that they have to be in their houses by 7pm for fear of being attacked by the gang.

"I was going home from the mosque when the gang descended on me with machetes and clubs even after I had given them my phone and all the money I had. Luckily, some women they had ordered to sit on the ground started screaming and they fled. One of them had a gun while the five others had crude weapons," said the resident.

The gang is believed to be hiding inside a forest near Peponi Primary School.

SHOP CLOSED

The attacks have forced some business people to permanently close their shops.

"I have not opened my kiosk since a man was shot here, I fear that I could be the gang's next target. We are calling on police to beef up security," said a trader.

The residents have vowed not to allow census officials into their houses on the night of August 24 arguing that the gang may take advantage and attack more people.

They have also pleaded with Governor Mohamed Kuti to erect street lights in the area.

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