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Police response too slow in the wake of Al Shabaab attack

22 November 2014, 14:32 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Authorities responded way too slowly to an attack on a bus by Al Shabaab militants which saw 28 people killed in gory circumstances.

The attack on the Makkah services bus traveling to Nairobi with 60 passengers was hijacked at just past 5.30 Am close to Mandera town, with those killed apparently asked to spell out Islamic verses and before being executed.

However, according to some of those who survived the incident, the response from police to the attack was too slow, despite the rabid nature of the attack.

Hussein Swaleh, who survived the attack, says that police arrived close to three hours after being alerted of the incident and that by then, the attackers, who were close to 100 had fled into nearby Somalia.

" The response was too slow. The police were non existent and in this case they came too late and were of no respite to those killed," he said.

He also blamed the bus company for not having a police escort on board despite the well known risks in the region.

" There was no police escort and we all know how bad these areas can be," he added.

He described the attackers as well coordinated.

" They knew what they were doing. They called us each by the side and looked our faces and then asked questions before shooting from close range," he added.

According to police sources, the attackers were well armed and re-reinforcements were needed before arresting the situation.

The sources also added that there were believed to be a number of police officers killed, even though they were unarmed as they were apparently going on leave.

" We received reports of gunshots early but there was no weaponry available so we had to wait for military personnel to come help us," a policeman whose name cannot be revealed as he is not in a position to speak to the media told News24.

It is understood that police and the military are pursuing the attackers who are thought to have fled into Somalia following the attack. 

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