One killed, two injured by gunmen in Mandera attack

Two of the victims of the Wednesday night gun attack in Mandera Town (seated). One of their colleague was killed in the attack by suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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One person was killed and two others injured in an attack by suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen in Mandera Town on Wednesday night.

The trio were ambushed by gunmen and sprayed with bullets as they were heading home from a hotel in the town at around 8pm.

Mandera County Commissioner Alex ole Nkoyo said the three were attacked by suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen who crossed into the country from Somalia’s Bula Hawa.

“There is some tension in the town because all the victims of the attack were non-locals and we have information that Al-Shabaab have been planning attacks in the same town,” said Mr Nkoyo.

He said all the three are masons working with a contractor building the Mandera Stadium.

“These three men were walking home from a hotel where they always have supper but were shot from behind by three gunmen who were trailing them. They killed one of the masons and wounded two others,” said Mr Nkoyo.

Mr Nkoyo said police on patrol responded to the gunshots but were unable to arrest any suspect as the attackers were said to have disappeared into the estates in the town.

“No one has been arrested so far but the Directorate of Criminal Investigations has taken up the matter and very soon we will know the motive of the shooting and who did it,” said Mr Nkoyo.

He appealed to the public to volunteer information that could help in arresting the suspects.

He at the same time urged tham to report any suspicious persons to the police.

Speaking from Mandera Referral Hospital, Mr Joseph Maina, 36, a victim of the shooting, said the attack happened a few minutes to 8pm.

“I had just left the hotel after supper and followed two of my friends when I heard gunshots and I lay down,” said Mr Maina.

He said on raising his head to see what was happening, one of the attackers shot at him twice injuring his right hand and leg.

“I thank God the bullet missed me getting just part of my hand and slightly bruising my leg.
“After the attacker left I ran back to the hotel where the police found me,” said Mr Maina who has been in Mandera for four years.

“This town is not safe and it is up to an individual to be more careful because the shooting happened less than 200m from the police station but the police arrived an hour after the incident,” said Mr Maina.

SHOT FROM BEHIND

Another victim, Mr Peter Muturi from Sagana, Muranga County, said they were shot at from behind as they walked home after taking dinner.

“I was with my friend who is now dead when we were shot at from behind and we could not see the attackers,” said Mr Muturi who suffered a broken right hand and a bullet injury on the left shoulder.

He said he came to Mandera in July 2014 as a mason attached to a certain contractor building the county headquarters.

“My friend John Wamae has just died. I can’t stay in Mandera anymore because you can’t really tell how things happen here,” said Mr. Muturi.

Mr Nkoyo said all security measures have been put in place to ensure that any criminal activities are dealt with.

The government has in the recent past insisted that security has been beefed up in Mandera and urged hundreds of non-local teachers who have refused to go back to return.

The non-local teachers said they feared for their lives following the killing of their colleagues in a bus attack in 2014 and killing of quarry workers.

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