Slain police officers' bodies to undergo DNA tests as Kenya deploys KDF in Liboi
NAIROBI, Kenya - Families of the slain 11 Kenyan police officers who were killed in a bomb attack while patrolling along the Kenya-Somalia border will have to wait a little longer before getting bodies for burial, fresh details have emerged, Garowe Online reports.
The General Service Unit (GSU) officers, who were based at the Harehare GSU camp, were out on patrol in Liboi when their Land Cruiser ran over an improvised explosive device believed to have been planted by the Al-Shabaab.
Their vehicle was extensively damaged in the 4 pm incident on the Damajale-Harehare road near the Kenya-Somalia border. One officer was buried instantly in accordance with the strict Islamic religion.
An official from Interior Ministry on Monday said a number of bodies have to be matched before official handing over to families by the government, arguing that they were badly defaced.
"Burial will have to be delayed a little bit to allow DNA samples to be matched. Already, the families have been informed and the exercise is going on well," the official said in confidence since the matter is regarded as a national security concern.
According to him, after the identification, the government will cater to the burial arrangements, with the National Police Service expected to coordinate the events in the coming days.
On Saturday, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang'i turned up at Wilson Airport where they received the bodies. Journalists were barred from accessing the venue.
After the reception, Mutyambai said the government had deployed Kenya Defense Forces, Rapid Response Unit officers and National Police Reservists to pursue the suspected Al-Shabaab militants who coordinated the attack.
"We have sent troops to the affected area and we are pretty sure that they will arrest the attackers. Security agents are alert in every region to avert such future attacks," he said.
But questions have been asked over the whereabouts of Armoured vehicles which the country purchased from China in 2016 that were meant to be used in fighting internal terrorism and crimes.
Last month, the government was put under pressure to explain the whereabouts of the vehicles following a rocket-propelled attack that left 5 officers dead in Mandera County.
Interestingly, a GSU officer who spoke in confidence said the vehicles were taken by the Kenya Defense Forces and are currently being used in the neighbouring Somalia where KDF is involved in an active war against Al-Shabaab.
"Those 30 vehicles are no longer with GSU. The government handed them over to KDF and they are in Somalia. As GSU, we are forced to use normal vehicles that are not resistance to explosives," he said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had on Sunday promised to ensure the attackers in Garissa attack are arrested. He condoled with families of the deceased officers.
“The President sends his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families of the departed officers and assures them of government support during this difficult period of mourning,” read the statement.
All the families of the affected officers will receive compensation from the government, which is usually based on the number of remaining years the officers were supposed to serve.
Traditionally, each officer will be given a 21-gun salute during burial as an honor to service rendered to the country. Top NPS officials and the Ministry of Interior officials are usually dispatched to attend in the event of such deaths.