By Jessica A Badebye
Al Shabaab terrorists who are believed to have been responsible for an attack on a lodging house Tuesday morning in Mandera County on the Somali-Kenya border that left 12 people dead and several others wounded, some severely, have been causing mayhem in the area including the Garissa and Wajir counties for the past three months.
This was said by outraged area governors led by the Mandera Country Governor Ali Roba who accused some members of their communities of ‘aiding’ the attackers. They also lashed out at the Kenyan government for not doing enough to ensure security in the area and called upon it to ‘up its game’. Speaking at a news conference in Marsabit Town, the governors who included Ahmed Abdullahi of Wajir, Issa Timamy of Lamu, Nathif Jama of Garissa and Mohammed Guleid, the deputy governor of Isiolo county, described the attack as ‘heinous, bizarre and barbaric’.
They admitted that the Al Shabaab terrorists carried out the attack on Bishaaro Hotel and Lodge in Mandera Town when ‘it was least expected’, a blunt admission that these were indeed professional killers who used the benefit of surprise at dawn to mount a successful attack, the second of its kind during this month alone. The area leaders urged the Kenyan government to post at least 300 national police reservists to protect their counties against further attacks.
Police say among the dead were 10 people who were visiting the area for set book performances in secondary schools and a caretaker who is a local. By the time we went to press, a total of 10 people including those wounded had been rescued from the lodging that had many occupants, but there were fears that there could be more casualties as rescue efforts had been hampered by fears of traps inside the guest house. “We don’t know how many people are still trapped in the rubble but efforts to reach them are ongoing,” said an officer on the ground who asked not to be named. The gunmen escaped towards the Somalia border as police responded to the bombing. The attack is believed to have occurred at about 2.00 am East African time.