KENYA

Mandera East chief shot three times at home

Northeastern regional cooordinator Mohamud Saleh in Dadaab last week / STEPHEN ASTARIKO

THE STAR — Police, army and intelligence officers are investigating the murder of Omar Jillo chief Dekow Sirat in Mandera East on Monday night by suspected Al Shabaab fighters.

Sirat was ambushed at 10pm at his house in Arabiya by masked gunmen who shot him three times.

They fled on foot towards the Somali border.

Witnesses said the militants knew exactly who their target was and they went straight to him and killed him.

“They were about eight in number. But only one pulled the trigger. They said in the local dialect that they have been looking for the chief for a long time and that his day had finally come,” a witness said.

Northeastern regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh said the security personnel are pursuing different leads to establish the motive.

“As of now we cannot tell who the killers are. We are giving the investigators time to piece together information. We don’t want to jump the gun at the moment,” Saleh said on the phone.

Saleh said KDF officers are combing the area in pursuit of the culprits, who are believed to have crossed the border.

Two Kenya Police Reservists were also abducted.

Despite curfew

The murder took place during the dusk-to-dawn curfew.

Omar Jillo is one of the towns under the curfew issued by the government.

Others are Arabia, Elwak, Fino, Lafey Kotulo and Mandera.

Al Shabaab usually targets government officials and installations.

Last Thursday night, the militants killed a miner in Elwak quarry and destroyed communication equipment in Amuma.

In April 2015 a Mandera chief was abducted and killed by Al Shabaab.

A source said the assailants tied Arabia chief Muktar Maalim to a tree and shot him in front of his clan elders then directed them to take his body away.

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