Nairobi (Caasimada Online) – A sudden surge in fatal incidents has swept across various Kenyan counties, raising grave concerns about national security.
The terrorist group Al-Shabab, with roots in Somalia, has heightened its aggressive operations across East Africa, with Kenya as its current primary target.
A striking tally of over 20 fatalities has been reported just within the current month, instigating widespread alarm.
The bloodbath in Kenya began in the early hours of June when Al-Shabab launched a series of ruthless attacks in Mandera County.
From the beginning of June until the present, data analyzed by the Nation reveals that these attacks have claimed 27 Kenyan lives, mainly comprising police officers, with many others gravely wounded.
Government intelligence reports indicate that numerous Al-Shabab fighters are operational within four Wajir sub-counties.
The nightmare in Salama and Juhudi
In the latest atrocity committed by this terror group, five men were beheaded in the villages of Salama and Juhudi in the Mkunumbi division of Lamu West on a chilling Saturday night.
According to Pamela Akoth Ogutu, who witnessed the horrifying event, more than 30 gunmen armed with firearms, pangas, and knives, stormed the villages. Dressed in military regalia, they identified themselves as “Original Al-Shabab.”
Upon entering the households, they demanded that the occupants lie on the floor. Among the victims was Barack Hussein, 19, a Form Three student of Bakanja Secondary School, home for his half-term break.
He and other victims were forcibly dragged from their homes, tied up, and gruesomely beheaded.
Ogutu recounts, “They also told us to deliver a message to President William Ruto that they were unhappy with the reopening of the Kenya-Somalia border.”
Rising tensions in East Africa
The horrific killings in the villages of Salama and Juhudi haven’t isolated incidents. In January last year, these villages witnessed a similar onslaught, where six individuals were killed, and suspected Al-Shabab militants torched more than ten houses.
Garissa County also experienced a grim echo of terror this month when eight security officers were killed during patrol.
Survivors of the recent raids accuse security agencies of delayed responses to these nightmarish events.
Joseph Mwangi, an elder from the affected area, lamented, “They only came this morning to collect the bodies. It’s unfortunate. Only the National Police Reservists in our villages responded quickly. They’re the ones who fought and prevented more deaths here.”
These attacks have sparked an outcry from the public, urging the government to ensure their safety.
Pastor Peter Muthengi of the Salama Redeemed Gospel Church called for an investigation, expressing the palpable tension suffusing the region after the brutal night raids.
Kenyan government response
In response to the mounting pressure, the State launched a substantial operation in various areas to hunt down the terrorists.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Adan Duale announced the modernization of police and KDF artillery to end Al-Shabab attacks in the region.
He declared, “Al-Shabab … we are coming for you. We will use the Navy, Air Force, and special forces to hunt you in Kenya and Somalia.”
Furthermore, he warned that sympathizers of Al-Shabab within the region would not be spared.
While the Kenyan government pledges to crack down on this menace, residents continue to live in fear as they anticipate the next potential terror attack.