Al-Shabaab kidnaps Italian aid worker in Kenya

Africa
By Daily Nation , Kenya
Coast regional police boss Noah Mwivanda. Chakama residents say by the time police arrived at the scene, the attackers had already crossed River Galana. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

NAIROBI, Kenya - Five people have been injured and an Italian student volunteer kidnapped in a suspected Al-Shabaab night attack on a shopping centre at Chakama in Kilifi County.

The gunmen, whom police described as “bandits”, raided the market in Makongeni Sub Location, about 80 kilometres west of Malindi town, on Tuesday at around 8 pm.

Residents on Wednesday told the Nation that 80 "heavily armed men" attacked the village in Galana Kulalu at around 8 pm and started shooting in the air.

"They then kidnapped the young Italian lady, who works as a volunteer in the area," said a local who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The 23-year-old woman was among Italian volunteers who had rented a house from which she was abducted at Chakama trading centre.

She was working as a volunteer with Africa Milele Onlus, a non-governmental organisation whose mission is to raise literacy and education levels in Chakama.

In a Twitter thread, the National Police Service on Wednesday said the attackers “fired indiscriminately at residents”, injuring the five.

Police named the injured as:

Samini Garama Dadu, 23: She was shot on the left side of the neck and is in serious condition,

Ibrahim Said,16: He was shot on the left knee and his condition is stable,

Elias Mwaringa Kathua, 12: He was shot on the left thigh, his condition is stable,

Mohamed Kalume Konde, 10: He was shot on the left eye and his condition stable, and

Mang Katana Jeffa, 20, who was shot on the right thigh.

Police were deployed to the scene after the attack but by the time they arrived, the anonymous source who said he witnessed the attack said, the gunmen had already crossed River Galana.

"The lady could be heard calling for help as they took her across the river," the source who witnessed the attack said.

The area of the attack, Galana Kulalu, is near Tana River and Garissa where Al-Shabaab elements roam.

The injured were taken to Malindi Sub County Hospital and on Wednesday morning, sources told the Nation that two were in critical conditions.

Kenya Red Cross Society Coast region coordinator Hassan Musa told the Nation that the injured woman was shot in the shoulder.

"We are making further follow up on the others," said Mr Musa.