Mandera police on alert over Al Shabaab attack

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Security has been heightened in Mandera after Al-Shabaab militants overran a Somali military camp near the Kenyan border.

Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said Kenyan security agents were on high alert because the militants are using military uniforms and vehicles stolen from the Kenyan army.

The Somalia National Army (SNA) camp at Elwak, Somalia, was attacked last Friday by the militants.

“We have heightened our security checks along the border since it is alleged the militants are using motor vehicles captured during the El-Adde attack in January,” he said.

He said the Friday attack was confined to Somalia but Kenyan security officers along the border from Borache/Elwak to Elrhamu and Damasa remain on high alert.

Mr Shisia disputed reports that both civilians and government soldiers from Somalia had sought refuge in Kenya during the Friday ambush.

“We didn’t have any civilians trooping to Kenyan soil or SNA soldiers except one who was brought in for treatment,” he said.

“Only one injured SNA soldier was received at a hospital [on the Kenya side] for treatment but no other Somali nationals trooped in,” he said.

He said reports showed that the 5pm attack on Friday targeted an SNA camp at Elwak, Somalia.

CAMP OVERRAN

The militants overran the camp and preached to locals before withdrawing, fearing aerial reprisals from African Mission in Somalia (Amisom) soldiers.

The commissioner said the militants disguised themselves as Amisom troops, making it easier for them to capture the SNA camp.

The attack was triggered by the recent reorganisation of the leadership in the SNA, the police and the local administration by the new Jubaland government.

“We received communication that during the attack they targeted the commanders and it is reported the SNA lost between seven [and] fourteen soldiers while 21 militants were gunned down,” he said.

The attackers abducted SNA soldiers and took three trucks with an assortment of weapons.

Mr Shisia said tAl-Shabaab militants have been confined in Somalia and have not crossed into Kenya.

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