Al-Shabaab trying hard to hit back at Kenya

Colonel Cyrus Oguna (right) from Department Of Defence, Operations, and Military Spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir during a media briefing on ‘Operation Linda Nchi’ on November 5, 2011. Photo/JARED NYATAYA

Al-Shabaab launched two abortive attacks against Kenya’s security forces in towns along the border as they unsuccessfully sought to fight back.

A time bomb planted by the roadside exploded at around 10.30 a.m. on Saturday in Hagardera patrol base within Lagdera division of Garissa County but no one was injured.

Police suspect it was aimed at a police vehicle that was to use that road but it exploded a few minutes before the vehicle reached there.

The targeted officers were based at the camp within the Hagardera refugee camp, sources and residents told the Sunday Nation.

On Friday night, regular police and AP camps at Hulugho were also attacked. About 30 Al-Shabaab militants struck the camp, located at the Hagardera refugee camp at around 11pm.

A fierce exchange, that lasted about 30 minutes, ensued but there were no casualties on the side of Kenya forces. The militants were eventually repulsed.

On Tuesday last week, a convoy of the Kenya army, which was going to reinforce personnel at Amuma was attacked at around 3 p.m. between Liboi and Amuma, near Hamey petrol base.

The convoy had challenged the gunmen to stop walking, at which point they opened fire.

It was reported that during the fire fight, the soldiers killed some Al-Shabaab members while three soldiers were injured.

The following day, Wednesday, about 12 attackers raided E Guest House and a home in Mandera Central at around 2.30 a.m.

It is suspected that the owner of the home could have been targeted owing to his links with the Somali’s TFG.

The 20-roomed guest house is said to be used occasionally by the TFG soldiers, and an unexploded bomb remained lodged into the walls of the guest house.

However, no one was injured and the owner is said to have been away on Hajj in Mecca. The metallic gate was partially blown off.

On October 28 along Habaswein-Garrisa road, seven kilometres from Garissa town, an explosion caused by an improvised explosive device, which had been set on the road injured four police officers.

The police vehicle was part of a convoy that was transporting personnel from Liboi to Nairobi.

Meanwhile, the military announced that they repulsed a boat carrying suspected Al-Shabaab militants that got into the Kenyan waters yesterday morning.

The boat from Somalia was challenged to stop but the occupants started firing at the military personnel. The navy officers shot back and the boat sped towards the Somali waters.

The Staffing officer in charge of operations, Colonel Cyrus Oguna, said the Navy was still pursuing the militants.

He was speaking at the police headquarters during the second weekly briefing on the incursion into Somalia.

Military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir and deputy Police spokesman Charles Owino accompanied him.

Colonel Oguna further said the forces in Somalia were divided into three, and one was approaching Bagdere, another Kismayu and the third one Afmadow.

“Meanwhile, the border remains closed and fishing is not allowed,” he said, adding that the Navy was doing everything possible to ensure the waters were secure.