Mandera abductions

Police Blamed for the Abduction of Three Non-local Masons in Mandera

Police are on the spot after three masons were abducted by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Mandera County on Wednesday evening.

Reports from the security agencies indicate that the victims were masons who were headed to Lafey town for work when the incident happened between Fino and Sheikh Barrow.

The incident happened about 30 kilometers from Lafey town when a public service vehicle the victims were traveling in was flagged down by armed men.

Suspected Alshabaab abduct three masons in Mandera
Suspected Alshabaab abduct three masons in Mandera. Image/Courtesy

The victims who are non-locals were new there and it is not clear where they are now, police involved in the operation said. There are also fears the incident was the job of local politics and infighting militia.

On Thursday Regional Police Boss Rono Bunei said the victims were yet to be found adding that they are holding the bus driver and turn boy for grilling over the incident.

Non-locals have been targeted in the area and killed or injured in attacks by suspected militants in efforts to derail development.

September 21, five militants were killed after they had ambushed a military convoy in Lafey

Police manning roadblocks blamed

Security agencies are now investigating how police officers manning roadblocks along the Mandera-Arabia-Lafey road allowed a vehicle carrying three construction workers, who were abducted on Wednesday evening, to pass through.

“We want to know how the three used that road when it is only the locals who are known to use it,” he said.

Mandera abductions
Police manning roadblocks accused of allowing vehicle to pass. Image/Courtesy

“It is very abnormal for a public service vehicle to be on that road beginning 2pm and more so with non-locals on board.”

Media reports say that the abductors had gone through three police checks, including one on exiting Mandera town, another at Koromey and the third one on entering Arabia town.

Mr Kyatha said he could not explain how the officers at these security checks allowed the three “unusual travellers” to proceed with their journey.

“We want to know who was behind their travel plan and what they were going to do without informing security officers of their plan to use that road,” he said.

At the same time, Mandera County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha has said that authorities are working round the clock to find the missing workers.

Mr Kyatha Thursday said that they are engaging their counterparts in Somalia in efforts to rescue the three, adding that all security units in Mandera are involved in the rescue mission.

It still remains unclear how the public service vehicle was on the road without police escort.
It still remains unclear how the public service vehicle was on the road without police escort. Image/Courtesy

“We are doing everything possible to find the three people abducted last evening as we investigate the whole incident,” he said.

According to the County Commissioner, police are investigating how the three non-locals left Mandera and headed to Lafey using the borderline road.



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