By Fauxile Kibet
GARISA: Kenyan Police Monday thwarted an attempt by suspected Al-shabaab militants to blow up a communications mast in the north eastern town of Garisa, Kenya.
According to area police commander Emmanuel Rono, the militants fired mortar shells at the mast belonging to Safaricom with a view of disabling communications in the area.
Rono said that police killed one of the militants after he was cornered during a multi-agency security operation after he reportedly fired rocket-propelled bombs at a police and administration police camps before targeting targeting the Safaricom mast.
Police report said that unknown number of militants ambushed the security installations during a gun battle that lasted for hours before they were overpowered and retreated into the bushes.
“Security officers were thrown into action and caught up with the heavily armed militants near the Safaricom mast which was recently replaced after it was destroyed during a similar attack,” the police commander said.
The mast was under guard by the multi-agency security team lead by Rapid Deployment Unit and Kenya police reservists.
The police commander appealed to health facilities to ensure that the injured fighters should not be given any treatment anywhere but instead report to the security apparatus immediately.
Elsewhere, gunmen kidnapped an Italian volunteer and wounded a woman and four children in Chakama near Kenya’s South Coast.
Witnesses said that men who spoke in Somali language armed with Ak-47 rifles seized the 23 year old volunteer, however, police said that they had not identified the kidnappers and no group had claimed responsibility.
“There were three attackers and they targeted the Italian lady. Their aim was to get money but they took off with her to the river,” one witness who spoke to journalists said.
Police added that the attackers opened fire as they left, wounding a woman and four children, he added. A 10-year-old child was shot in the eye and a 12-year-old was hit in the thigh.