Mandera chief abducted by suspected al Shabaab gunmen, leaders demand KDF’s return from Somalia
A Mandera chief was abducted when suspected al Shabaab gunmen ambushed a vehicle he was travelling in on Thursday morning.
Arabia chief Muktar Maalim commonly known as Muktar Otieno was ordered out of the 14-seater van after it was stopped along Arabia-Mandera Road.
One of the passengers told the Star on phone that the van was waylaid at three junctions.
“They started firing at us at the first road block. We managed to escape from the second one too but the passengers shouted to stop the car as the assailants intensified the shooting” he said.
The passenger said they were grouped based on gender and government workers separated.
Adding that the gunmen were only interested in government employees, he said ID and job cards were checked before Ibrahim was singled out
They left with Ibrahim on foot after letting other passengers go unharmed, he said.
Assistant chief Abdinoor Dakane who was in a separate vehicle escaped into a bush.
Following the abduction, Mandera leaders have demanded the immediate withdrawal of Kenya Defence Forces from Somalia, saying they should guard local territory.
Security organs are doing little to stop terror attacks, the leaders said at the devolution conference at Tom Mboya Labour College, Kisumu on Thursday.
“Civil servants are fleeing the county, people are terrified and little work in going on in Mandera yet all we are told by security chiefs is that all is well,” said Senator Billow Kerrow.
“The government must now take the insecurity in Mandera seriously to restore confidence in our people.”
Kerrow challenged Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery to crack the whip on the county’s security chiefs.
“Why is the CS only interested in the security of Garissa where he has sacked security bosses and continues to claim he has confidence in the security chiefs in Mandera yet they are failing in their duties?” he posed.
Kerrow said Ibrahim’s kidnap must be investigated conclusively.
“When his assistant sensed that vehicles were being stopped, he alighted and dashed into the bush and his boss was abducted. We are not even sure whether he will come back alive or they will butcher him like they have done in the past,” he said.
The attack occurred about 10 kilometres from where the Mandera bus in which teachers were travelling and Governor Ali Roba’s convoy were ambushed.
It follows an announcement by Northeastern leaders that chiefs would help gather intelligence on the al Shabaab terror group and its financiers and sympathisers.
The militants have carried out several attacks following the incursion of Kenya Defence Forces into Somalia as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia.