Seven killed in Al-Shabaab's morning raid at police station in Kenya
GARISSA, Kenya - At least seven people were killed on Tuesday morning following Al-Shabaab raid at a local police station, authorities have said, with the death toll expected to rise.
The raid, police said, was waged at 1 am local time near Dadaab refugee camp, which hosts refugees from Somalia and South Sudan.
A gunfight ensued between the militants and the police as they attempted to storm Saretho police station, witnesses said.
Two militants were killed on spot with the third one succumbing to his injuries in a nearby bush within the vicinity of the station, police said.
Attackers targeted Soretho station
Security personnel including special forces said they recovered two AK47 rifles and two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from the slain militants.
Kibet Bowen said, Dadaab Deputy County Commissioner, said four locals who included a teacher were killed in an exchange of fire.
The other victims were school-going children. They were in their house when stray bullets fired in a shootout hit them, the Commissioner said.
Witnesses said the 1 am incident happened near Saretho Police Patrol base which is 25 kilometers from Dadaab refugee camp.
“We believe they had bad intentions of killing many. But they have been repulsed and two of them killed,” said Bowen.
Four police officers missing
Multiple sources intimate that four police officers cannot be accounted for following the deadly raid which repelled successfully.
The four are said to have pursued the militants to the nearby bushes but their whereabouts remain a mystery until now, locals said.
Al-Shabaab has regularly waged attacks targeting security forces in the region. Last year, another police station was raided in Garissa.
The government is yet to confirm claims that police officers are missing. The patrol base is barely 50 KM from the Kenya-Somalia porous border.
Communication mast destroyed
While escaping, the Commissioner said, the Al-Shabaab militants destroyed a communication mast belonging to a local telecommunication company.
According to the police, this was meant to stop the security agents from pursuing the attackers. The mast was completely dismembered.
“When you attack and destroy a communication mast you affect many issues including operations," added Bowen.
The communication network is usually poor in Northeastern Kenya given little investment by telecommunication companies.
US military Base attack
The attack comes barely 48 hours after another similar attack which targeted an American Naval Base in Lamu County, which neighbors Garissa to the South.
Sunday's attack left one American serviceman dead and two US citizens contracted by the Kenya Defense Forces at Camp Simba, AFRICOM said.
During the attack, five Al-Shabaab militants were killed and sophisticated equipment has been confiscated, KDF confirmed.
However, the attack left seven aircraft and several vehicles meant for training by both Kenyan and American troops severely destroyed.
Kenya most affected in Al-Shabaab war
Kenya has continued to suffer heavy casualties from daring attacks waged by the Somalia-based militants, with over six incidents reported within the last month.
Last week, four civilians were killed in Lamu County when the militants hijacked a passenger bus before unleashing on non-Muslims.
In December 2019, at least eleven people mostly police officers, were also killed at Wajir County after their bus was flagged down by the militants.
Despite the predictable attacks, Kenya has remained unbowed in the fight against Al-Shabaab. Over 2,500 troops are stationed in Somalia.