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Ole Lenku, Kimaiyo defend record in the face of terror attacks

23 November 2014, 11:33 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Security lapses in the country again means that the two senior officials are on the spot over their recurring nature and lack of premonition.

Many Kenyans have died in terror related acts since their both assumed office and despite calls from Kenyans to have the two replaced, president Uhuru Kenyatta has usually taken a back seat and defended them.

Ole Lenku as Interior security CS is charged with protecting the lives of Kenyans, while Kimaiyo is the head of the national police service.

After the latest attack in Mandera which saw 28 people killed by Al Shabaab forces, the two fought to keep a brave face as pressure again shifted to their lack of prior knowledge of such attacks.

" We are on this case. Let Kenyans know that we are doing all we can to ensure their safety," Ole Lenku said in a press conference Saturday evening.

He insisted that his forces are on the job and will protect Kenyans as much as they can.

" I accept that this is an issue that none of us want to see and again I reiterate my condolences to the families of the deceased. We have already started an operation to catch up with the criminals in Somalia and have made progress," he added.

Kimaiyo on his part said that it was unfortunate to lose so many innocent Kenyans but that at the same time, there is only so much police can do.

" That area close to the Somalia border is a problem area and we have increased surveillance after this incident. We are also working to know why this case was not detected in advance," he said.

He also went out of his way to defend the response time by police to the incident.

" There are many details that come into such operations and we have to live with that. It is a remote area and we have to ensure we hit back with the right personnel, not expose our officers to more danger," he added. 

A shortage of personnel and lack of equipment led to a slow response by police, it has been widely reported. They said the attackers have more sophisticated weaponry than the police who waited for military reinforcements before responding.

The attack was carried out by al-Shabab, the Islamic militant rebels in Somalia.

Kenya has been hit by a series of gun and bomb attacks blamed on al-Shabaab, since it sent troops into Somalia in October 2011. Authorities say there have been at least 135 attacks by al-Shabab since then, including the assault on Nairobi's Westgate Mall in September 2013 in which 67 people were killed. Al-Shabaab said it was responsible for other attacks on Kenya's coast earlier this year which killed at least 90 people.

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