Police in Garissa, on December 4, managed to foil an attempt by suspected Al Shabaab militants to cut communication by destroying a telecom mast in Diiso area of Fafi Sub-county.
In a report by Kenya News Agency (KNA), seven gunmen armed with AK-47 rifles struck at around 12 am and managed to destroy the diesel generator used to power the mast, an incident that was confirmed by North Eastern Regional Commissioner Mohamed Birik.
According to the regional commissioner, suspected members of the Al Shabaab group arrived and opened fire at the diesel generator used by the mast.
The gunshots alerted police officers who responded quickly to prevent the mast’s destruction, which would have disrupted communication in the area.
“The militants first fired several rounds on the diesel generator destroying it. But before they destroyed the mast, our security officers in the nearby camp arrived and engaged them forcing the militants to escape,” Birik was quoted by KNA.
Birik further noted that members of the terrorist group have been targeting Safaricom masts in the area apparently to cut communication in the area, something that the police have taken to tackle.
In the words of the county commissioner, Garissa police commander Alfred Ongengo visited the scene to assess the situation and gave an assurance of beefing up security in the area with the aim of preventing attacks.
In the attack, an unknown number of policemen were injured as the suspects fired back.
However, Birik refuted claims that the 21 officers had been earlier reported missing, claiming that some suffered injuries but are undergoing treatment.
“It’s untrue that the mast was destroyed. We have accounted for all our officers. I want to urge that posting unverified information on social media to stop the habit.
“The information only serves to create panic and nothing else. Let those fond of using social media to desist from posting unverified reports especially touching on security,” the regional commissioner added.
In order to avoid similar incidents in the area, the regional administration promised to act with the utmost vigilance to ensure security to all.
“I want to assure the residents of North Eastern and Kenyans in general that our officers are on high alert and working round the clock to ensure that they are safe,” remarked Birik.
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