Two dead in Kenya at­tack blamed on Shabaab

The Gulf Today - - MIDDLE EAST -

NAIROBI: Two peo­ple were killed on Satur­day in an at­tack on a con­voy of buses trav­el­ling in eastern Kenya un­der po­lice pro­tec­tion, said in­te­rior min­istry and po­lice of­fi­cials, who blamed Al Shabaab mil­i­tants.

The buses and po­lice ve­hi­cles were trav­el­ling from Lamu on the north­ern Kenyan coast near So­ma­lia to Mom­basa in the south.

At­tack­ers struck at 11:00am (0800 GMT), leav­ing one po­lice oficer and one civil­ian dead.

The area where the at­tack took place has been struck fre­quently in re­cent years by Al Qaeda-linked Shabaab mil­i­tants.

“There was an ex­change of ire be­tween the se­cu­rity team that was es­cort­ing the buses and the at­tack­ers dur­ing which one civil­ian was shot dead and some po­lice ofi­cers suf­fered in­juries,” in­te­rior min­istry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said in a state­ment. The as­sault was car­ried out by “a gang of sus­pected Al Shabaab ter­ror­ists,” he added.

A high-rank­ing po­lice ofi­cial said that an oficer was also killed, and that the civil­ian vic­tim had been trav­el­ling in a po­lice ve­hi­cle.

Re­gional po­lice chief Larry Kieng said a group of Shabaab mil­i­tants ired rocket launch­ers at two po­lice ve­hi­cles es­cort­ing the buses, caus­ing them to go up in lames.

The Shabaab is ight­ing to over­throw the in­ter­na­tion­ally backed govern­ment in Mo­gadishu but also reg­u­larly car­ries out at­tacks in neigh­bour­ing Kenya, which has troops in So­ma­lia as part of an African Union force.

In its blood­i­est sin­gle at­tack on Kenya so far, Shabaab gun­men raided a univer­sity in Garissa in April 2015 killing 148 peo­ple, most of them stu­dents, while in 2013 the group killed at least 67 peo­ple in an as­sault on a shop­ping mall in Nairobi.

Last month, a top UN ofi­cial said, So­mali refugees in Kenya are free to choose whether to go home, de­spite many fam­i­lies say­ing debts ac­cu­mu­lated to feed their chil­dren af­ter cuts in ra­tions are forc­ing them to re­turn to a war zone.

In Oc­to­ber, a fund­ing cri­sis forced the UN World Food Pro­gramme to cut ba­sic food ra­tions and cash in Dadaab camp in north­ern Kenya, hous­ing nearly 240,000 refugees, by 50 per cent.

The United Na­tions said Dadaab suf­fered be­cause it has been re­ceiv­ing So­ma­lis for more than 25 years.

Donors are fo­cused on new con­licts like Syria and South Su­dan that are fu­elling the world’s worst refugee cri­sis since World War Two.

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