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Chiefs in north Eastern live in fear of terror attacks

23 June 2015, 19:16

Nairobi -  Kenyan government administrators in the country's restive northeast Wajir region on Tuesday expressed fears for their lives following increased terror attacks targeting them.

The local administrators or chiefs said they are having restless nights as they do spend nights away from their homes for fear of Al-Shabaab attacks in Wajir which is closer to the Somali border.

Chief Ali Abdi, who has served for over 22 years in government, is among the few chiefs who have been trained on firearms. but said they have been living in fear due to targeted attacks on them.

"We feel that we are being targeted by the Al-Shabaab, especially after the killing of some of their colleagues. We are under a lot of pressure from our family members to resign from our government positions because they feel we will be killed," he said.

The tension comes days after an administrator in the region was killed by suspected Al-Shabaab militants. Mohamed Barre Abdullahi was shot dead after finishing evening prayers at a local mosque on Saturday.

On Sunday, another administrator escaped death narrowly when he escaped after being quickly alerted by his children that they had spotted gunmen around their compound.

The three gunmen forcefully gained entry into the home of Senior Chief Salah Baqai Ali of Burder location in Wajir south, but by then he had already escaped.

Wajir Sub-County Commissioner Peter Letulia acknowledged that the militants were now out to intimidate government workers, a tactic he said would be countered.

Northeastern Regional Coordinator Mohamud Saleh is on record telling chiefs and their assistants that not even one of them would be killed under his watch, saying those behind the killings would be brought to book.

Saleh said the government is aware of the changing tact by the militants, who have invaded villages along the border where they are allegedly spreading their doctrine.

He said that his security team will stop at nothing to ensure that Al-Shabaab is kicked out of Northern Kenya and peace restored in the troubled region.

The East African nation continues to suffer several attacks as terrorists change tuck to beat heightened security and carry on with their heinous acts undetected.

In the recent past, there have been several attacks involving shootings, grenades, or other explosive devices, especially in the country's coastal and northern regions.

In a latest deadly attack, the militants raided a college in Garissa county, killing 148 people. 

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- Xinhua


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