Police officers have launched a hunt for a man suspected to have masterminded the terrorist attack that cost the lives of 11 police officers on Saturday, October 12.
The officers from the Harhar General Service Unit (GSU) Camp lost their lives at Degow, close to the Kenya-Somalia border, while they were on a routine security patrol at the volatile region.
Citizen TV reported on Saturday, October 19, that the suspect, Abdullahi Banati, is believed to have worked in conjunction with other Al Shabaab operatives to plant an improvized explosive device (IED) that went off, taking the officers' lives.
Police investigations established that Banati and his operatives have been conducting activities along the Kenya-Somali border.
“Police have traced the activities of Banati and his team of militants to the border and it is suspected that he escaped to Somalia with the rest of the operatives,” read a police statement.
Banati was reported to have joined the Al Shabaab group in 2012 and participated in the botched attack on the Baure Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) base in 2015, where 11 of his fellow terrorists were killed.
It was believed that he sustained serious injuries in the attack, which forced him into hiding, only to resurface in 2018, where he took part in several attacks along the Somalia border.
The attack on the police officers on October 12, 2019 triggered the government into instant action with a view to apprehending the suspects before they left the country.
Police IG Hillary Mutyambai announced that a joint patrol team comprising Kenya Defence Forces, Administration Police, Rapid Response Police Unit and Kenya Police Service had been dispatched to the area to pursue the attackers.
President Uhuru Kenyatta also released a statement to notify the public about the henious attack and condoled with the families of the police officers who were caught up in the bloodbath.
“The National Police Service regrets to inform the public that NPS officers were on patrol along Damajale-Harhar Road near the Kenya-Somali border when their motor vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device.
"The president sends his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families of the departed officers and assures them of government support during this difficult period of mourning,” the statement read.
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