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Police arrest key suspect in yesterday’s Garissa killings

Police in Garissa have arrested a key suspect in connection with yesterday’s attack, in which six people were shot dead within Bukureu area on the outskirts of Garissa town.

Briefing the press in his office today, North Eastern regional commissioner John Otieno said that the suspect will assist the police in tracking down his other seven accomplices.

Otieno said the victims, who were travelling to Hulugho border town in a Toyota Probox, were stopped by the assailants, who, after inspecting their identities, fatally shot them at blank-point range.

Among those killed were two high school students who were travelling home for the August holiday.

“We have arrested one key suspect in connection with the incident. We are interrogating him and we are optimistic that he will provide key information that will help in arresting his accomplices,” said Otieno.

“I want to assure area residents that police will pursue the killers to whatever length. We shall ensure that they face the law and answer for the heinous crime,” he added.

The regional commissioner also put those behind the attack and other criminal activities in the area on notice.

Otieno, who was flanked by the county and regional security committees, further disclosed that a mop-up exercise of illegal firearms in the wrong hands will soon be carried out and called on those holding the same to surrender them to the authorities.

The regional commissioner, who condoled with the families of the victims, warned those planning retaliatory attacks, saying that the government will act firmly against individuals out to cause animosity between different clans in Garissa and North Eastern region at large.

“We are dealing with the Al-Shabaab menace in the region and we shall not be distracted by clan conflicts. We are ready for those behind the attacks and whoever is involved will be dealt with in accordance with law irrespective of his or her status in society,” he noted.

Otieno said that the government was working closely with other relevant stakeholders with a view to finding a solution to the land disputes in the affected areas.

The regional and county security teams are meeting today with county leadership ahead of another planned meeting for Saturday that will include clerics and other elected leaders.

The bodies of the victims were taken to Garissa referral hospital morgue for postmortem and later in the evening they were released to their families for burial at a Muslim cemetery.

By Jacob Songok

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