Brazen al Shabaab gunmen have yet again invaded a Garissa village with impunity, forcing terrified residents to listen to a dusk-to-dawn tirade against the Kenyan government and its military intervention in Somalia.
TAKING OVER VILLAGE
The Thursday night raid on Yumbis village was the second al Shabaab incursion in two days. Residents said no one was injured, but all were terrified. More than 40 fighters stormed the village in Fafi subcounty and hoisted their flag at an Administration Police Post that had been abandoned.
After staying for morning prayers, they disappeared on foot into Boni Forest. The incursion at Yumbis, 50 km from Dadaab town, came a day after al Shabaab briefly took over mosques in Tumish and Kabasalo villages near Hulugho on the border. They delivered fiery rants about religion and politics. They also named alleged spies and threatened to kill them.
On April 2, al Shabaab massacred 148 people, mostly students, at Garissa University College. Residents of Yumbis told the Star they the militants also denounced the government, local civil servants and security officials.They threatened to carry out major attacks in Garissa and other towns.
ALSHABAAB PUBLIC RALLY?
â€œThey ordered everyone, including women and children, out of their residences to open ground near a water point where they gave speeches on religion and told us they would not harm us,” resident Mohamed told the Star by phone.
“Thank God there were no non-locals or police post around because they could been killed by the gunmen armed with sophisticated weapons,â€ he said. The attackers stayed for Friday morning prayers before departing .
The gunmen were said to be led by Mohamed Mohamud, aka Dulyadeyn Kuno, one of the most wanted al Shabaab leaders. The Kenyan government has placed a Sh20 million bounty on the head of the former teacher at a madrassa in Garissa. A major military operation by Kenya Defence Forces and other security agencies was immediately launched in Boni Forest to flush out the militants.
A government statement said security forces foiled an attack on Yumbis and no one was injured Residents did not report an exchange of gunfire. The statement was issued by Mwenda Njoka, Director of Strategic Communications at the Internal Security and Coordination of the Government. â€œSecurity forces on Thursday evening thwarted an attempted attack at Yumbis village of Ijara Constituency by suspected al Shabaab. A gang of armed Ugus (militants who kill Somalis)was sighted around 6pm by the public who ale No casualties were reported,â€ Njoka said.