Al-Shabaab raids Kenyan village in near Garissa, raises black flag
At least 20 armed Al-Shaabab militia on Thursday evening invaded Yumbis village in Fafi, Garissa County, and lectured locals for more than six hours.
Fafi sub-County Commissioner Geoffrey Taragon confirmed the incident, saying the gunmen hoisted their flag at an abandoned Administration Police post.
Speaking to the Nation, terrified locals said the heavily armed militants, believed to have crossed over from the neighbouring Somalia, rounded them up and forced them to sit at an open ground.
They said the militants were led by a “bearded” old man, who lectured them while others kept vigil.
“They ordered everyone including women and children out of their houses to an open ground near a water point where they started giving us speeches on religion, they told us that they will not harm us,” Mohamed Abdi, a Yumbis resident told the Nation.
He said women were required to cover their faces and sit away from men.
Residents claim the Kenya Defence Forces, who are near Hagadera refugee camp, did not come to their rescue even as the militants took time to lecture them on religion.
Mr Abdi said the speeches went up to 10pm when the armed them ordered them to disperse and go to their homes.
The residents said the attackers left on foot after the morning prayers on Friday.
Mr Taragon said security officers were mobilised after locals reported the presence of the gunmen at the village around 3pm.
He said police officers were ambushed on their way resulting to heavy exchange of gunfire.
“They ambushed our officers who had gone there when they were alerted by locals after these attackers were first seen but there were no casualties.
“This morning I am going there with contingents of security officials to pursue the attackers,” he told the Nation on phone.
The incident comes days after Al-Shabaab militants gave speeches at a mosque in Hulugho Sub-County in Ijara.
The Interior had early Friday issued a statement claiming that the Al-Shabaab militants were repulsed after villagers alerted security forces that they had spotted armed men in the area at around 6pm.
Inspector-General of Police Mr Joseph Boinnet said the Al-Shabaab were harassing locals but were “repulsed by security personnel.”