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Sacked police officers blamed for insecurity

08 April 2013, 18:45

Garissa - Kenya's government official on Sunday blamed police officers who have been dismissed from the forces for the rising insecurity plaguing the northern region, especially Garissa near the border with Somalia.

Garissa County Commissioner Maalim Mohamed, who is also the head of the security committee in northern Kenya, said investigations revealed that the de-commissioned officers hailed from the area and were behind the rising insecurity in the region.

"The heavy gunfight between security personnel and the assailants witnessed last Tuesday during an operation to nab those responsible for the killing of three police officers in Gulled area showed that we were dealing with highly trained operatives," Maalim said during a peace forum in Garissa town.

Maalim lamented that the locals and youths in particular were frustrating efforts of the police officers by calling for their immediate transfers instead of complementing their efforts.

He further blamed the local residents for aiding and abetting assailants who committed the killings in the town.

Improvised explosive devices are common in the northern Kenya after two people were also killed late last year when the device they were planting on a roadside targeting security officer accidentally went off in Dadaab killing them instantly.

Citing an example of one assailant who was injured during the attack that claimed the lives of three officers, Maalim said that reports indicated the assailant was being treated at a secret location aided by locals.

The commissioners regretted that youths in the town had taken to posting photos and videos of slain government officers on social media terming the move as "immoral and unethical".

"For me, posting pictures and videos of slain officers on social media only works to encourage those behind the killings. What mileage are you gaining by posting such photos," said a visibly agitated Maalim.

At the same time, security personnel in Garissa backed by Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers mounted a major operation in Gulled are of Garissa town where five government personnel including three policemen and two Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials have been killed in cold blood within the past one week.

Mohamed disclosed that during the security operation, they had managed to apprehend several wanted suspects who he described as "dangerous" including one who was nabbed in possession of two Kenyan ID cards and another refugee ID card.

The operation started at about 3:00 a.m. local time and was still ongoing for the better part of Sunday.

The government says armed attacks and kidnappings threaten the country's tourism industry -- a key driver of the economy-- that had bounced back after near collapse following post-election violence four years ago in which more than 1,200 people died.

Al-Shabaab militants have vowed to attack Nairobi after the east African nation which hosted protracted negotiations that culminated in the signing of the federal charter for Somalia in 2005, invaded Somalia to flush out the insurgents it blamed for kidnappings of tourists.

- Xinhua


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