Soldiers blamed for deaths, robbery in Mandera

Soldiers blamed for deaths, robbery in Mandera

- in NEWS2, Politics
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The locals say scores of others were seriously injured when the soldiers descended on them in broad day light.
Lafey MP Shaaban Ali Isaack addressing the media in the past. The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers have been blamed for the death of a boda boda rider and robbing locals in his constituency. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers have been blamed for the death of a boda boda rider and robbing locals in Lafey, Mandera County.

Locals in Sheikh Barrow location in Lafey on Sunday said their shops had been looted by the soldiers who had responded to a terror attack in the region on Friday.

Speaking on the behalf of the victims who were claimed to have been brutally beaten by the officers on Friday, Mr Adhan Hassan Afey said about eight vehicles full of police officers descended on them with clubs and rungus leading to the death of a boda boda operator they identified as Ahmed Roble.

Mr Afey claimed that the deceased was caught in the confrontation as he visited a relative.

They said scores of others were seriously injured when the soldiers descended on them in broad day light.

The officers had earlier responded an attack in Fino after suspected Al-Shabab militants destroyed a communication network mast belonging to Safaricom the previous night.

On their way back, their vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) killing one of them.

“After the attack on their vehicle they came to Sheikh Barrow shopping centre and surrounded people before starting beating us. Some managed to run for their lives but unfortunately one was killed while eight others sustained serious injuries,” said Mr Afey who is also the chairman of the location.

He said the soldiers also confiscated the local’s property like mobile phones and even cash while some businesses were raided and robbed.

“At least mobile Phones of 28 people were taken away while some their business wares including solar panels were taken away,” he claimed.

However Lafey OCPD Bosita Omukolongolo denied the claims of harassment, brutality and the killing of the boda boda man.

He argued that the deceased might have been killed as police engaged assailants in a heavy gun-battle after the soldiers were attacked at Fino.

The police boss, who said he was on the convoy, said the locals are yet to record statements to initiate investigations into the alleged brutality by the officers.

“Our convoy was ambushed and our lead car was hit by a suspected landmine that resulted to the killing of one of our officers then there was fire exchange. We regret that a person might have been killed in the fight,” he told the Nation.

“About harassment of locals I was among the convoy and there was not such a thing. I encourage them to record statements so that the truth about the allegations can be known,” added the area police boss.

Local leaders have also joined the fray urging Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery to immediately investigate allegations of extra judicial killing and punish those found guilty.

Lafey Member of Parliament Shaaban Ali Isaack said the security agents should concentrate on pursuing criminals instead of turning against innocent citizens who are also victims of terror in the country.

“We condemn such incidents and as area leaders we will not accept any harassment of police on local people,” said the lawmaker.

Warankara Ward Representative Abdirashid Osman while condemning the police brutality said the killed boda boda operator hailed from his Ward.

“While we condemn the acts of terror it’s unfortunate that our security officers resorted to acts of brutality against the already traumatized citizens going about their businesses,” he said.

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