Top Stories / National
Friday, 23 Jun 2017 11:50 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Five people including two police officers were killed this morning by gunmen outside Equity Bank in Elwak town, Mandera County.
However the death toll was in contention with Northeastern regional coordinator Mr Mohamud Saleh confirming three people dead including one police officer, while Manderal South police chief Mr Charles Chacha said five people were killed including two police officers.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet also confirmed the incident, saying the attackers fled with the body of their colleague who was shot during the exchange of fire with the policemen. “They were engaged in a gunfight and one of them was killed,” he was quoted speaking on telephone, “they fled with the body.”
Mr Saleh who could not establish the number of gunmen added “They opened fire and indiscriminately killed three people. The officer had been guarding the bank,” he said. Mr Chacha on his part said unknown attackers arrived at the bank in a Toyota Probox.
Another officer was stationed inside the facility and there are fears that more people were injured in the attack for which no one has so far claimed responsibility. But suspected Al Shabaab militia are suspected to be behind the attack.
Mr Saleh said police responded swiftly but the assailants had escaped by the time they arrived. “We are seeking to establish whether it was an attempted robbery or if Al Shabaab militants were involved," he said.
The terrorists who cross over from Somalia have been carrying out sporadic attacks in North Eastern. A witness said the gunmen seemed to have planned to kill the police officer.
Officers from the military and regular police cordoned off the area and launched a search for suspects. Elwak town is located seven kilometres from the Kenya-Somalia border.
A major security operation was underway in Mandera after the attack in search of the attackers who fled towards Bura Hache area on the Kenya-Somalia border. Mr Saleh said “We will not relent on this, a manhunt is on for them.”
Mandera County and other border towns have experienced insecurity cases in recent weeks, with more than 20 police officers killed in Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) attacks.