'Al-Shabaab' rebels raid Kenya police post

2011-11-26 22:34

Garissa - Suspected Somali al-Shabaab rebel fighters raided a police post near Mandera in northern Kenya on Saturday, seizing weapons and burning a mobile phone transmission mast, security officials said.

The group of fighters attacked Arabiya, a trading centre 60km from Mandera, and engaged police in a firefight before overpowering them and taking all the guns and bullets from the local police post.

"Arabiya was attacked. We believe it's al-Shabaab. They destroyed, burned a communication booster and took ammunition at the police post," North Eastern Provincial police commander Leo Nyongesa told Reuters by phone.

There were no injuries or deaths reported.

Kenya ordered its soldiers across the border in October to crush the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab who it said had attacked its security forces and tourists inside Kenya.


The latest incident comes days after grenade attacks in the frontier town of Garissa killed six, and a roadside bomb killed a soldier in Mandera town.

Nyongesa said police had arrested five people suspected to be involved in the Garissa attack.

Although there appears to be little progress on the ground in Somalia as torrential rains bog down operations, more airstrikes have been launched on al Shabaab strongholds in recent days and there have been skirmishes and bomb attacks in northern Kenya.

"The week has been very intense with air operations that have been aimed at decimating and degrading al-Shabaab capacity to be able to plan and launch operations in the country," Kenya Defence Force's Colonel Cyrus Oguna told a news conference in Nairobi.

During the operation, now in its sixth week, four soldiers have died in direct combat, in addition to five killed in a helicopter crash at the start of the incursion. One was missing at sea.

Oguna said nine people arrested on Friday in separate incidents on Lamu island were suspected of being al-Shabaab members.


Kenya is the latest foreign power to try to stabilise Somalia, which has been mired in violence for two decades since the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 allowed first warlords, then Islamist militants, to step into a power vacuum.

On Friday, officials from Ethiopia, whose soldiers have been in Somalia before, said the country will deploy troops to the anarchic Horn of Africa state for a "brief period" to help Somali and Kenyan forces battling al-Shabaab.

In an emailed statement responding to Ethiopia's plan, al-Shabaab said: "The people of Somalia shall never accept or live under the humiliation of occupation and the spirit of resistance shall not fade as long as a single invader remains alive on Somali soil."

  • Smell - 2011-11-27 04:47

    Humiliated by occupation? I ask you!!! Some of the "invaders" are UN trucks trying to bring in food for the hundreds of thousands of starving people. Some of the other "invaders" are stable African neighbours trying to support some basic form of a regime that can provide some basic services to the Somalian people. Al-Shabaab should rather be ashamed of the pervasive piracy and the toll taken by their murderous brutality, underpinned by their barbaric interpretation of an ancient holy text. And that they cannot even feed their own people. Disgusting.

  • Clive - 2011-11-27 06:51

    Thats a bit harsh Smell old chap! So since you ask, hows about some basic enlightenment: 1. Some of the "invaders" are not UN trucks bringing food to starving Somalians! 2. Some of the "invaders" are AU or neighbouring troops that have "invaded" Somalia at the behest of Foreign Interests (oil) who dont care a damn about the lot and well being of the Somali people. 3. Some of these foreign "invaders" are only doing so for the financial benefit they are deriving from the "backer" paying for this folly. 4. The "basic form of a regime" that you elude to is imposed on Somalia by these "backers" and the people of Somalia had no say in its composition. What would your response be if a "basic form of a regime" was forced on your country by nefarious backers with "alterior" (oil) motives. 5. Not holding a brief, or caring one iota for Al Shabaab, it is ironic that the only peiod and semblence of order and law was during Shariah Law while Al Shabaab was in control of the country. 6. The piracy is conducted by warlords and gangs and hardly attributable to Al Shabaab. It only prevails and is directly attributed to Al Shabaab. There are just so many of the gangs and of these warlords working with and in allignment and cahoots with the "basic form of an imposed regime" in Mogadishu. Actions elicit counter-reactions. Stop and think for a moment how would you feel about a "foreign solution" for your country's problems, and then attempted to be enforced by "friendly foreign invaders".

      Smell - 2011-11-27 09:38

      All that for "potential" oil reserves? That seems to me a bit of a stretch. More Hollywood than say Military Intelligence. But let us pretend for a moment that you are right. If you were in that half of the Somali population that happens to be female, who would provide the better (or any) hope for some basic human rights, including education - your friends in Al-Shabaab or the spin-offs from Big Oil actually finding oil in your impoverished country?

  • Clive - 2011-11-27 12:18

    There you go Smell, clearly you have no argument or knowledge about the real situation on the ground. Pity, cause ignorance and unqualified remarks form opinions. The people of Somalia should be left to solve their own problems - the Somalian way. Trust you support and propogate interference and intervention in Zimbabwe also!

      Smell - 2011-11-27 18:59

      Clive - not classy or necessary to get insulting. I am just giving my opinion - I am not snootily declaring myself as the keeper of the "facts". I think the USA made a huge mistake in taking the "liberation" wars to Iraq and Afghanistan in response to 9/11. But it is laughably naive to extrapolate outside intervention as bad in all cases. ZANU-PF and Mugabe lost a general election in 2008 and just chose to remain in power through the brutality of the militias, police and the army. Fancy the outside world would have let the Nats and FW de Klerk remain in power after losing the election in 1994 - there would have been outside intervention for sure. So if there is no outside intervention, like what transpired in Rwanda, 800,000 people can end up dead in a matter of weeks. Or in the Balkans, Milosevic would have slaughtered all the Bosnian Muslims, or any former Yugoslav that did not quite have the right Serbian accent. Or, who knows, without the opposition of the East Germans and the Cubans in Angola, the SADF would have taken over Angola in a matter of weeks. And what would have happened if the Americans did not intervene in Europe in the Second World War? Are you suggesting a man like Hitler should have been allowed to solve the "Jewish issue" in Germany the "German way?"

  • Fred - 2011-11-27 17:29

    Usual problem - wherever in the World there is a sizable Muslim population their is violence, hatred and murder.

      Braam - 2011-11-27 17:50

      Tog so waar

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