Heavy Gunfire Rocks Mandera Border, Casualties Reported [VIDEO]

  • Aerial image of Mandera town, Mandera County
    Aerial image of Mandera town, Mandera County
    Daily Nation
  • UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: The National Police Service on Monday evening, March 2, issued a statement regarding the purported attacks that took place earlier in the day in Mandera Town.

    In the press release, the police spokesperson Charles Owino announced that the attack took place in Bulla Hawa in Somalia, which borders Kenya's Mandera town, as opposed to earlier reports that the shootout was in the Kenyan border town.

    "Members of the public are cautioned against sharing unverified information on social media or any other platform as this will propagate panic and anxiety amongst people," reads an excerpt of Owino's statement.

    Panic gripped Mandera on Monday, March 2, after heavy gunfire rocked parts of the county. 

    Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers inspect the security fencing at the Kenya-Somali border on February 21, 2017
    Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers inspect the security fencing at the Kenya-Somali border on February 21, 2017
    Daily Nation

    Heavy gunfire was heard in Bulla Hawa, a town on the border of Somalia and Kenya with an area known as Buruburu a focal point for the violence.

    Terrified citizens scampered through the streets as they sought to keep themselves and their families safe.

    Communication was also affected in the area with telephone networks seemingly jammed.

    Reports indicate that the violence could have spilled over from the Somali side where the Somali National Army (SNA) and Jubaland forces had been clashing.

    SNA soldiers were reportedly on the hunt for Jubaland officials alleged to be hiding out in Mandera.

    The Federal Government of Somalia has been engaged in a battle for supremacy with the local administration of the Jubaland region.

    Kenya has maintained its support for Jubaland President Ahmed Madobe who reportedly works closely with Nairobi in combating the Al-shabaab terrorist group in the Juba and Gedo regions.

    Explosions were also heard with dark smoke seen billowing from a supermarket in the area as citizens scrambled to get away.

    The report came a day after 11 Kenyan MPs who had traveled to Somalia were briefly detained by police upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

    The MPs were questioned over the trip which was reportedly unauthorized. They were soon released with officials confirming that they would not face any charges.

    The lawmakers were Kullow Maalim (Banisa), Ahmed Kolosh (Wajir West), Ibrahim Abdi (Lafey), Rashid Kassim (Wajir East), Mohammed Hire (Lagdera), Omar Salah Maalim (Mandera East), Bashir Abdullahi (Mandera North), Adan Haji (Mandera West) and Adan Ali Sheikh (Mandera South).

    "Of concern was the fact that they travelled to Somalia without the requisite clearance and on a matter that is not clear to the government," Security Secretary Muriithi Kangi told journalists after the MPs were released.

    Watch a video of the chaotic scenes below: