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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya police chase Al-Shabaab militants after Manera attack

MANDERA (Xinhua) -- Kenyan authorities said Wednesday security forces are pursuing suspected Al-Shabaab militants who destroyed a telecommunication mast belonging to mobile operator Safaricom in Mandera county.

Mandera South Deputy County Commissioner Daniel Bundotich said national police reservists exchanged fire with the militants before they escaped on foot to Somalia.

He said a security operation is underway to pursue the attacks who had crossed from Somalia to carry out attacks on the Kenyan soil.

"A contingent of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and police are pursuing the attackers, we will hunt them down using any means," the government official said.

"The police reservists were overpowered by the attackers as they engaged in gunfight but none was injured during the 1:30 a.m. attack at Dabacity area.

"No arrest has been made but the search is on," Bundotich said.

He said a loud explosion was heard and police reservists guarding the mast reported an attack at Dabacity by the militants but none of the police reservists was injured in the incident.

Bundotich said the motive of the attack was to paralyze communication in the area to prevent quick response from security officers.

"We are aware the terrorists want to cut communication on our security forces as they plant Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on the road unmarked," he said.

The area is along the Mandera-Nairobi road used by public and security vehicles where the militants have planted IEDs in the past targeting security vehicles.

The latest incident comes two days after a KDF armored personnel carrier (APC) was attacked in neighboring Damasa in Lafey sub county where two officers succumbed to the IED attack.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Al-Shabaab destroys communication mast in Kenya’s border region

MANDERA (Xinhua) -- Suspected Al-Shabaab militants destroyed a communication mast in Dabacity area in Mandera county of northeast Kenya on Tuesday night, officials confirmed on Wednesday.

Regional government official Mohamud Saleh said the militants were however repulsed and escaped towards to Somalia border.

He said no one was injured during the attack.

Saleh downplayed the attack, saying the militants had attempted to attack the communication mast to cut telecommunication services in the area before they could carry out terror attack in the restive region.

The attack comes two days after the militants killed two military personnel in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Damasa area.

The terrorists also engaged the military personnel in a shootout before escaping.

Three others were injured in the explosion that badly damaged the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) that was racing on the road.

Security personnel in the area said the Improvised Explosive Device had been set up by Al-Shabaab militants who are roaming there.

Residents said the Tuesday’s night attack led to a fierce gunfight that lasted several hours. Saleh said the attackers were in three groups when they launched the attack.

"Those who attacked the telecommunication mast were repulsed by security officers manning the facility," he said.

The mast had just been upgraded to 3G for the election purposes.

The Al-Shabaab have in the recent past attacked communication masts in bid to cut police from immediate response.

The Somali militants have been targeting military and police vehicles either by laying an ambush or planting explosives on the road in northeast region especially in Mandera and Garissa counties.

A number of security personnel have died as a result of the attacks some that include IEDs placed on roadsides by Al-Shabaab militants.

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