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Mandera passengers stranded as security deteriorates

The  Mandera residents have asked the government to fast track restoration of security as runaway banditry has adversely  affected the transport sector in the area.

The residents who spoke in the major bus terminus for buses plying to Nairobi said they have shelved going tothe capital  via the road owing to increased Al Shaabab attacks targeting security agents and nonlocal travelers.

The  Mandera Bus Chairman, Mohamed  Bardad  said  though transport for vehicles plying to Nairobi resumed on Monday, non-local  travelers have been advised to use the Moyale route and avoid the Garissa road.

Several vehicles including a PSV vehicle have been attacked on the Mandera/ Garissa route withmilitants scaling up their  campaign of attacking non local travelers using the road.

On  Sunday  morning a PSV vehicle was attacked at Jabibar area near the Bamboo police post onthe Mandera/ Garissa route.

The  driver of the vehicle and passengers escaped unhurt after gunmen believed to be Al Shabaab militants sprayed bullets on  the vehicle before planting an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that went off seconds after the PSV car had passed the dragnet.

The incident which happened a day after local bus companies had suspended transport owing to insecurity is the sixth attack on public transport vehicles since 2015.

Abdi Rashid Mohamed a stranded passenger asked the government to upscale security on the roads, saying he has suspended his journey to Nairobi over fear of attacks by the Al Shabaab.

The  Mandera Police Commander, Jeremiah Kosiom in a separate interview said he has instructed sub county police commanders to increase number of police patrolling the roads.

The  Al Shabaab have increased attacks in the past three months after they abducted Cuban doctors in broad day light, before planting an IED targeting a police escort vehicle which escaped a landmine. A PSV  vehicle  was attacked around the same area with passengers escaping unhurt.

The  attacks followed the killing of two Al Shabaab militants in combat by Kenyan forces where two others were injured and a national police reservist killed by the militants.


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