Gunmen believed to be al Shabaab militants are being pursued by the police after fatally shooting a National Police Reservist known as Mohamed Mohamed Abdullah, also known as “General,” in Mandera North’s Guticha area. The incident occurred at 2 am on May 29, when the assailants tracked the victim to his residence and fled the scene afterward. Police suspect that he was being followed. Authorities arrived shortly after the shooting and processed the scene before permitting the family to bury the body.
This occurrence adds to a series of security concerns in the region, as there are apprehensions that terrorists are attempting to establish a base for an imminent attack. On May 1, six police officers were injured when their vehicle triggered an improvised explosive device in Rhamu, Mandera. Another attack targeting a different team in the same area occurred shortly after but fortunately resulted in no injuries.
Furthermore, a significant planned terrorist attack was foiled on May 22 by a multi-agency operation in Alango, Garrissa County. During the raid on an al Shabaab camp, six AK47 rifles, two Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), a PKM, grenades, warheads, ammunition, a cell phone, and a memory card were seized. The operation against the militants is ongoing, and additional personnel have been deployed to curb the escalating attacks.
The local residents’ cooperation with security agencies is crucial in addressing this issue, as it is believed that such attacks would not occur without the involvement or knowledge of the locals. The region’s proximity to the Somalia border allows the militants to freely cross and carry out attacks before retreating.
These acts of violence in Mandera and Garissa counties have been attributed to the instability in Somalia since the collapse of the Siad Barre regime in 1991. The continuous planting of explosives along the routes used by security forces remains a major concern. Heightened security measures have been implemented due to the potential threat posed by the long-dormant terrorist group.