Al shabaab militants destroyed a communication mast in Omar Jilo, Mandera

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Al shabaab militants destroyed a communication mast in Omar Jilo, Mandera

Up to four terror related incidents have happened in the stretch claiming 12 lives
on January 7.
Gunmen believed to be al Shabaab militants attacked and destroyed a communication mast in Omar Jilo, Mandera leaving many out of reach.

VANDALISED: Al shabaab militants destroyed a communication mast in Omar Jilo, Mandera on January 7.

This is the latest incident in a series that have been reported.

Witnesses said there were dozens of men roaming the area before and after the attack. No injury was reported after the Friday incident.

Officials said they are aware of the presence of the gang in the region and efforts to counter their activities are ongoing.

This includes deployment of more personnel to the region bordering the Kenya-Somalia border and using residents to fight their activities.

Security officials said January is usually the time many of the locally militarised terrorists and those sent from Somalia try to send a message.

So far up to four terror related incidents have happened in the stretch. The incidents claimed 12 lives.

They include the killing of a civilian on new year’s, seven people and four police officers in Lamu county. The attacks are linked to terrorism and local politics.

“The latest attacks are being carried out by al Shabaab grassroots cells. These devolved jihadists operations are planned and carried out by native members of affected areas, locally radicalised and backed by trained al Shabaab cells,” an official aware of the operations said.

The official said counter terrorism operators understand that both traditional and devolved jihadism are carried out by dangerous persons determined to carry out what they believe is a religiously mandated struggle against evil.

“Grassroots jihadism is becoming an increasingly popular tactic. However, compared to traditional jihadism, it is inferior (low casualties and physical damage) but its potential for psychological impact and damage is significant.”

Multi-agency teams have been deployed in parts of Lamu, Wajir, Garissa and Mandera counties, which border Somalia to fight the terrorists.

In Lamu, a dusk-to-dawn curfew is in place to tame the terrorists’s activities.

Police acknowledged that the security threat remains real due to its strategic location with war-torn Somalia. They however claim the situation is not as dire as a section of politicians had alleged.

The terrorists have been targeting security installations in the area in a series of incidents and destroying them.

This has affected the education sector forcing tens of teachers who are non-residents to leave.

The border region has borne the brunt of repeated attacks from the militants who are at times aided by residents. Somalia has not had a stable government after the fall of Siad Barre in 1991.

The area is near the Somalia border and the militants usually cross at will and stage attacks before escaping back.

Al Shabaab terrorists have been attacking places in the region after breaching security zones. The attacks have left dozens of civilians and security officials dead and wounded.

The terrorists have been planting explosives on the routes used by the security agencies, attacking them.

Kenyan troops are in Somalia to pursue and suppress the activities of the terror group.

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