Garissa police post targeted, al Shabaab suspected
02 October 2012, 11:19
Suspected al Shabaab militants threw a hand grenade at a Kenyan police
post on Monday in the northern town of Garissa close to the border with
Somalia, police said, a day after two police officers were shot dead in
the same town.
Kenya has been rocked by a series of grenade and gun attacks
since it sent troops into Somalia last October in pursuit of Islamist al
Shabaab rebels whom it blamed for kidnapping its security personnel and
"A hand grenade was thrown, it dropped and exploded but nobody
was injured," Garissa county commissioner Mohamed Maalim said, adding a
gunfight ensued for about 10 minutes.
"The police fought back, secured the post and repulsed the gang," he said.
Maalim said police suspected it was an al Shabaab attack, the
third in two days, which follows the killing of two policemen in Garissa
and a separate bombing in which three children attending a Sunday
school were hurt when militants threw a hand grenade at a church in
The attacks on Kenyan soil have intensified since Kenyan troops,
alongside other African Union forces, launched an offensive against the
southern Somali port of Kismayu, al Shabaab's last stronghold, forcing
the rebels to flee.
"This is a heinous act by al Shabaab. They are out to cause chaos
out of bitterness from their losses in Somalia," Maalim said. Security
sources said police and paramilitary forces were searching for the
Most of the inhabitants of Garissa are ethnic Somalis. The town is 180 km (110 miles) from Kenya's border with Somalia.
In July masked assailants launched simultaneous gun and grenade raids
on two churches in Garissa, killing at least 17 people in the worst
attack in the country since Kenya sent troops into Somalia.
Local residents say tension is running high after the latest attack on police.
"Security officers are going from house to house, breaking into
homes and roughing people up," said Mohammed Gabow, former Mayor of
Garissa, who is now an elected civic leader in Bulla Iftin, where the
police post is located.