Workers at a construction site at Borehole 11 in Mandera South have survived a shooting incident by four armed men who raided their site.
A resident, speaking to KNA on Sunday morning on condition of anonymity, said the four attackers arrived at the site armed with AK-47 rifles and hurriedly starting shooting.
The workers scampered for safety when the shooting started.
“They were four men all armed with their faces covered. They seemed to be in a hurry and wanted the site engineer who was hiding,” said the resident.
While confirming the 8am incident, the Mandera County Police Commander (CPC), Jeremiah Kosiom said he was aware of the incident but he did not have much information.
Kosiom said four gunmen visited a hospital construction site in Mandera south sub county ordering the workers to lie down.
He said the gunmen whom according to eye witnesses looked like Al Shabaab militants asked for the contractor before police ambushed them. They ran for safety shooting in the air.
The workers are building a hospital at the centre along the Elwak-Kutulo-Wajir road which is notorious for attacks.
Our source said the attackers targeted non-Somali workers at the site and were specific on whom exactly they wanted.
“They asked for the engineer in-charge of the project who is a non-local and also wanted the other non-local workers who had taken off,” the source said.
He said the attackers asked for the keys of a vehicle that was at site but they left after being informed that the driver had left with the keys to the shopping centre.
He said it was unclear whether the attackers were Al-Shabaab militants or some militia hired by a local over business interests.
“I cannot tell whether the incident is due to contract issues among local business-men or by Al-Shabaab,” he said.
Borehole 11 is located eight kilometres from Elwak town and another 20 kilometres from El-Rhamu along the Kenya-Somalia border.
The only Administration Police camp providing security at the centre was closed down in 2014 by national government.
Non-local teachers at both Borehole 11 primary and secondary schools were transferred to safer areas due to insecurity.
By Dickson Githaiga