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Al Shabaab were regular visitors, Mandera quarry massacre survivor reveals

05 December 2014, 12:48 Joseph Njung'eh

Nyeri - Al Shabaab militants were regular visitors to Mandera quarries at Koromey area but were not harming anyone, a survivor has revealed.

David Mwangi Muraguri, 42, narrated that the militants were routine visitors and would harass them, steal mobile phones, foodstuffs, utensils and money without any fatal attack on the victims.

He said they were used to Al Shabaab attacks but the recent one was more terrifying because they killed 36 people in cold blood.

“The militia could make unexpected visits to our camps and shoot severally in the air to scare us. They would then harass us, steal food, utensils and money without harming us,” said Mwangi, father of three.

Mwangi went to Mandera in the company of young men from his village in Chaka Township in search of greener pastures.

He went to work as a mason but building and construction work was not easy to get prompting him to move to quarry jobs since he had the skills needed in producing good blocks.

Read Also: Cleric denies recruiting youth into Al Shabaab

“I landed a job in a quarry where we were working with my colleagues from this area and others from other counties. We were making a lot of money in the quarries because payments were triple of what is paid here in Chaka,” said Mwangi.

He moved in Mandera in March following invitations from friends.

He has however vowed to never set his foot back in Mandera after witnessing the cold blood murder of his fellow colleagues and close friends.

The shocked mason by profession said that on the day of the massacre, the militias stormed the camps as usual but this time round they were many and more harsh.

“I heard them ordering my colleagues to lie down. Later I heard gunshots, little did I know that my friends were being killed,” he said adding that the slain workers were working in the neighbouring quarry.

Mwangi narrated that he and his fellow workers fled the camps and scampered for safety in the bushes.

“The shootout intensified and we decided to escape from the camps. We went to a police post that was miles away. I thank God that I am alive and here with you. I better stay jobless than go back to Mandera,” said Mwangi.

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