Gunmen kill two in Garissa, escape on foot

Garissa, Kenya: Gunmen killed two people on Wednesday evening in renewed attacks on civilians in Garissa Town.

The men were killed in a place popularly known as Shifta Camp near the local library by gunmen who escaped on foot at about 6.20 pm.

Police said the attackers must have mistaken the two to be security agents before shooting them in the head at close range.

“The place is usually frequented by security agents and we suspect they thought the victims were police or government officials. They have escaped,” said North Eastern police boss Charlton Murithi.

The attack came a day after a police officer escaped death by whisker in the town in an attempted attack by gunmen. The officer escaped the death after he slid and fell as the gunmen aimed at him on Tuesday evening. No arrest has been made so far.

Murithi said the attacks were the latest after a lull that has lasted almost a month following a major operation in the town to get illegal immigrants and gunmen who had been behind a series of gun attacks that claimed dozens of lives.

Following the attack on Wednesday evening, witnesses said a major police operation was mounted to get the attackers.

Police detained more than 600 people in the operation that lasted weeks in April and returned refugees to Dadaab refugee camp.

The police operation was aimed at getting men behind serial killings that have left dozens of people dead in the area in the last one year alone.

This followed the killing of ten people by gunmen in a hotel. The ten were killed in an attack targeted at patrons at Kwa Chege Hotel.

Garissa and other local towns have been the target of terrorists who kill innocent citizens, as well as security officers and other government officials, using either gunfire or grenades.

Police officers, military personnel and Kenya Revenue Authority officials have in the past been killed in targeted attacks in Garissa.

The incidents started in October 2011 when Kenya Defence Forces entered Somalia to fight the terrorist group Al-Shabaab on their own land.

By Cyrus Ombati, The Standard

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