Source: Nairobi Star/allAfrica
Five people, among them three policemen, were killed by suspected al Shabaab militias who hurled a hand grenade into a night club during New Year celebrations in Garissa town.
Yesterday police spokesman Erick Kiraithe said two of the dead were Administration Policemen while the third was a police constable. Eleven people were admitted to the Garissa Provincial General Hospital for treatment.
Kiraithe said the three officers, whose identity could not be revealed because their families were yet to be informed, were killed in the club attack shortly after 12am yesterday. Kiraithe said the three officers were on patrol. North Eastern police chief Leo Nyongesa last evening said 26 patrons in two bars were admitted to hospital. Nyongesa said six casualties were yesterday treated and discharged.
According to police in Garissa, four men clad in military fatigues hurled grenades into the night club and also shot at the patrons. The night club was packed with people partying to usher in the New Year. Police said the attackers hurled a hand grenade into DRC bar before attacking the second bar where they indiscriminately shot the patrons. Peter Mwathi, a night guard who spoke from his hospital bed, said a man in full Kenya Army uniform confronted him asking to open the main gate to the night club.
He declined to open the gate and ran away after he noticed the men were holding a metal device, which they threw into the compound. Mwathi was being treated for a bullet wound in his chest sustained in the attack. « I heard a big blast before they sprayed bullets in my hideout. I thought I had escaped but later on felt a sharp pain in my chest and I realised it was a bullet wound, » said Mwathi. « I heard people cry loudly as more bullets rent the air targeting those fleeing from the bar, » said the wounded guard.
Garissa police boss Felix Munyambu said no arrest had been made but police were investigating the incident. Munyambu told the Star in Garissa that he was not aware how many people had been taken to hospital over the attack. He urged the public to be on high alert, especially bar owners. « People must take charge of their own security before the government does so. We have been telling people to close the shops at 9 pm and the bars at 11pm but nobody listens, » he said. The North Eastern provincial director of public health Dr Mohammed Abdikadir yesterday said two victims were in a critical condition while the rest are out of danger. He said the medical staff were overwhelmed by the number of causalities in the hospital.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) continued its bombardment of al Shabaab training camps when fighter jets hit the militia group’s bases in Shimbarale and Dheenle villages in Juba and Gedo areas on Friday. The jets hit Shimbirale village about 100km from Kismayu, which hosts two of the biggest al Shabaab training camps. However, the number of casualties was not confirmed. Al Shabaab reportedly beheaded two youths and displayed their mutilated bodies in Afmadhow after accusing them of being spies for the Somalia Transitional Federal Government soldiers and Kenya Defence Forces in the area.
According to the Kenya military spokesman Maj Emmanuel Chirchir, the TFG and KDF troops have continuously bombarded the militia group’s training camps with precision inflicting huge loses to the al Qaeda linked gang blamed for several abductions of foreign tourists and aid workers in Kenya. The incident comes as Kenya Police released a list of 15 al Shabaab militias dispatched from the war-torn country to Kenya to commit terror activities during the festive season.
Police spokesman Kiraithe said the gang – who include nine Kenyans, two Asians and four Somalis – may have already entered the country and appealed to anyone who spots them to report to the nearest police station. Some of the gang, who had earlier been under surveillance by intelligence agencies, travelled to Somalia a year ago from Nairobi and Mombasa. Five other suspects were shot dead by the paramilitary General Service Unit officers in Mombasa and five AK47 rifles and 327 rounds of ammunition recovered from them.