Nairobi – President Uhuru Kenyatta has cancelled his official trip to Angola in order to attend a local security meeting in solidarity with the families of the Kenyans who lost their lives in the Mandera attack, the State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said.
Esipisu said the Kenyatta sent his condolences to the bereaved and wished the injured speedy recovery.
“The President condemns in the strongest terms this heinous attack by these depraved individuals. Our security agencies will do everything in their power to bring them to justice,” Esipisu said the statement on Tuesday.
He said that Kenyans would not allow themselves to be divided along religious lines, which is what the terrorists want and added that to win the war on terror Kenyans needed to work closely with the security agents.
Kenyans woke up on Tuesday to news of a terror attack at a guest house in the remote town of Mandera town that killed 12 people.
In a statement to media, the Regional Commissioner of North Eastern Mohamoud Saleh said that at around 3.30am on Tuesday, an IED bomb exploded at the Boshari Hotel in Mandera Town and that part of the building collapsed leaving 12 people dead.
He said the government condemned “this act of terror” and that investigations were under way to establish the source of the explosion. Mohamoud said that officers on patrol responded immediately, cordoned off the area and began search and rescue operations which were still ongoing.
He said at least six people had been rescued alive from the debris and that preliminary investigations into the attack were yielding good leads for the police.
Mandera, he said, is usually under 24 hours security surveillance.
Local media reported that 10 non-locals were among the dead and had travelled to Mandera to stage plays for set books for the Form Four (equivalent of O Levels) national exams which begin countrywide in November.
Mandera is at the border with Somalia and Ethiopia and is considered a volatile area by Kenyans due to frequent attacks by Somali militias who cross the porous border between the two countries.
According to a BBC radio report, Al Shabab have claimed responsibility for the attack.
In November 2014, Al-Shabab fighters hijacked a bus in Mandera and killed 28 non-Muslims on board. In December 2014, they killed 36 quarry workers. And early this month six people were killed in a residential building in Mandera. In December 2015, gunmen sprayed a Mandera bound bus with bullets and asked Muslim passengers to help them identify the non-Muslim passengers. The Muslims refused and opted to live or die with the non-Muslims.
Witnesses said the attackers left the scene in disbelief.
Al Shabab attacks on Kenya escalated since 2011 when Kenya sent troops into Somalia to fight the militias and help the Somali government stabilise the country.
African News Agency
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