11 Dead From Mandera Al-Shabaab Attack

  • 11 passengers have been confirmed dead after suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen attacked a Mandera-bound bus on Friday, December 6, between Wargadud and Kutulo areas.

    In a statement sent through the police spokesperson Charles Owino, the police confirmed the sad incident that is blamed on suspected members of the Al Shabaab terrorist group. 

    “We have had an incident on a Mandera-bound bus that was attacked by a criminal gang and we believe lives are lost. We have dispatched a team of officers to the scene. We will be issuing a statement shortly," Owino told the publication.

    Al-shabaab militants

    Further reports as reported by KTN News indicate that among the dead are 8 police officers from the anti-stock theft unit who were getting back to their base, 1 doctor and 1 teacher.

    The gunmen are reported to have separated the passengers where they embarked on shooting the non-locals before leaving.

    Police officers in the area are currently pursuing the gunmen.

    The attack brings back memories of a November 2014 attack on passengers aboard a bus that was hijacked 50km from Mandera where 28 were killed in what the police described as a retaliation to the raids by police on mosques in Mombasa.

    The horrific massacre saw passengers separated by faith and those who did not profess the attackers' faith were killed. 

    In a subsequent attack, again on a Mandera-bound bus in December 2015, Muslim passengers showed bravery by shielding non-Muslim passengers from the attackers who had attempted to replicate the previous year's massacre. 

    Two people were killed in the 2015 incident. 

    The Northern Kenya region has experienced sporadic attacks by insurgents associated with the al-Qaeda allied al-Shabaab militant group with grenade attacks on police vehicles being one of their chosen mode of attack.

    KDF officers

    Kenya's incursion into Somalia under Operation Linda Nchi on October 16, 2011, is often cited as one of the decisions that increased attacks by the militants on Kenya.

    However, the Kenyan government has consistently rubbished such claims in an operation that would later be merged with the African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom) in 2012.