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Al-Shabaab militants kill Mandera chief in cold blood

A chief in Mandera County was on Thursday killed by Al-Shabaab terrorists, hours after they pulled him out of a bus and took him to Somalia.

The chief and other passengers were travelling from Elwak to Mandera Town when heavily armed gunmen stopped the bus at 7am.

They ordered everybody out of the bus and checked identification documents.

The gunmen also robbed the passengers of money, mobile phones and other valuables.

After they were done, they took the chief hostage and allowed everybody else to continue with the journey.

Moments later, the gunmen intercepted a pick-up truck used to transport miraa and commandeered it to flee into Somalia with the chief.


A group of elders followed the gunmen and when they caught up with them inside Somalia, the terrorists demanded a Sh4 million ransom.

However, the terrorists shot the chief a few minutes after 6 pm while negotiations on the ransom were still going on.

A different group of elders had, meanwhile, sought the help of Kenyan troops at a military base in a remote part of the county and together they followed the fleeing terrorists but found the chief already dead.

Kenya Defence Forces spokesman David Obonyo confirmed the chief’s abduction and death.

“It is true he was killed in cold blood. The gunmen knew they were being pursued and were under pressure to escape,” said Col Obonyo.

Sources in Mandera identified the administrator as the chief of Arabia location, Mr Muktar Maalim Ibrahim.

The sources said he and other residents were going to a public baraza in the town.


Arabia Ward Representative Abdullahi Abdirahman accused security personnel of laxity, saying the gunmen fled on foot and if they had responded immediately, they could have rescued him.

The ward representative said the incident took place 10km from Arabia at the spot where the militia massacred 18 people travelling to Nairobi last November.

Mandera County Commissioner Alex Ole Nkoyo said witnesses reported counting about 40 kidnappers.

He said he had called the public baraza but cancelled it after the incident was reported.