Security agencies on high alert as terror group intensifies attacks

Anti terrorism activities.

Rapid Deployment Unit of Administration Police officers patrol Lebehia; a town 40 kilometres East of Mandera town in this photo taken on July 17, 2022. 

Photo credit: Jeff Angote I Nation Media Group

Security agencies in three North Eastern counties will have to rethink how they fight terrorism, if recent incidents are anything to go by. Within a week, the region has recorded more than five terror-related incidents in Mandera, Wajir and Garissa.

On Thursday, explosives experts from the Liboi military camp in Garissa detonated two devices planted on the Kulan-Liboi road.

A report from the Liboi Police Station stated that a herder had reported noticing wires protruding from the ground. 

“It was reported by a man who was grazing his livestock that at Wardeglow area he saw electric wires protruding on the ground and suspected explosives were planted in the area,” the report said.

Police and military officers established that at least two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had been planted in the middle of the road at the scene.

“The IEDS were detonated by explosive experts from Liboi Kenya Defence Forces (KDF),” the report said.

Mr Farah Maalim, a former National Assembly deputy Speaker, claimed on his social media pages that he was the one targeted.

Intelligence information

“Our hawkeyed security officers got intelligence information of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted in my campaign route to Liboi,” Mr Farah posted.

“They halted my convoy, rerouted us to safe detour and engaged services of bomb disposal experts. They then detonated the IEDs with ease. My profound gratitude to our officers.”

Mr Farah is gunning for the Dadaab parliamentary seat under the Wiper party.

In neighbouring Wajir County, officers at the Khorof Harar Police Station are lucky to be alive after explosives hurled at the station missed the target.

At least 10 explosive devices were hurled at the station by suspected Al-Shabaab militants, according to a report compiled by officers at the station.

“Kindly be informed that today (Thursday) at 4:30pm a group of assailants suspected to be Al-Shabaab attacked both Quick Response Unit (QRU) and Kenya Police Service (KPS) camps with weapons suspected to be Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and mortar bombs,” the report said.

The officers said the assailants targeted a communications mast and that at least 10 explosives were used.

“An explosive landed inside the police station just behind the Officer Commanding Station (OCS) house shuttering window pans,” the report added.

Officers from both camps responded by firing back, repulsing the attackers.

In Mandera, police officers on escort duties escaped death by a whisker when a device exploded, missing their vehicle by an inch.

Suffered injuries

The incident happened on Tuesday on the Mandera-Rhamu road.

And on Sunday evening, three police officers suffered injuries when suspected militants hurled explosives into an Anti-Stock Theft Unit camp in Elrhamu, Mandera South sub-county.

Mandera County Police Commander Johana Tonui said the county was safe and that all security agencies had been activated to ensure elections go on uninterrupted.

At a consultative meeting with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Sunday, Mandera politicians accused each other of planning to cause chaos and blame it on terror group.

“We have warned politicians against any misconduct and anyone found engaging in anything against the electoral law or any other then we shall take the necessary action against that individual,” Mr Tonui said.

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