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Reinforcement sent as 11 GSU officers die in Garissa IED attack

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Eleven security personnel from the elite General Service Unit were Saturday killed in a deadly blast after their vehicle ran over an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on the Degoh Road, Liboi, Garissa County. Their vehicle was extensively damaged in the 4 pm incident.

The officers were from Harehare GSU camp were on patrol when their Toyota Land Cruiser ran over the IED believed to have been planted by Al-Shabaab militants operating there.It marked the latest incident to affect security personnel operating in the region.

More than 30 have been killed this year alone in separate such incidents in attacks staged by the terror group.On Saturday, Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said a joint patrol team of Kenya Defence Forces, Administration Police, Rapid Response Police Unit and Kenya Police Service had been dispatched to the area to pursue the attackers.

“The National Police Service regrets to inform the public that NPS officers were on patrol along Damajale-Harehare Road near the Kenya-Somali border when their motor vehicle ran over an Improvised Explosive Device,” he said in a statement.

It was one of the deadliest to affect the GSU personnel.Garissa Governor Ali Korane condemned the incident as the killing of our security officers by the enemies of humanity.

“Saddened by the news of the death of 10 police officers killed in an IED attack along Liboi-Damajale road, Garissa County. I extend my condolences to their family, relatives, and colleagues,” Korane said in a statement.

Their bodies were flown to Nairobi yesterday (Sunday) and received by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Mutyambai.

Matiang’i said he was saddened by the deaths.“I extend my deepest sympathies and profound solidarity with the families of our gallant officers who lost their lives in Garrisa last night. Their selfless patriotic sacrifice to serve Kenya renews our resolve in the fight against terror,” he said.

The area has been experiencing a lull of attacks from the militants who cross from neighbouring unstable Somalia.This baffled intelligence officers who predicted a planned attack.The terrorists have been targeting security agencies in the area by planting bombs on their way. The border is porous and allows the gang to roam.

The incident also brings to question why the personnel were not using Armoured Personnel Carriers that were bought by the government for their use.

The APCs are however at times badly damaged and cause deaths when hit. For instance, eight police officers were killed on September 10 when their APC was hit by a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) in Elwak area, Mandera CountyPolice said then the APCs acquired from China cannot withstand a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack.

Spokesman Charles Owino said they are however equipped with Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles which can resist such a bomb. “We wish to clarify that the attack was not in any way due to the unsuitability of our equipment,” said Owino.

He said both APCs and MRAPs are used for specific assignments as they have different firepower to resist an attack.“Armoured Personnel Carriers can resist specific calibers of ammunition while MRAPs resist mines and RPGs,” said Owino.

They were traveling between Farhama and Elram when their two armoured vehicles and a lorry were hit by an RPG fired by suspected Al-Shabaab militants who were hiding in the area.The team was patrolling near the porous border when the attack happened, police said.The vehicles affected- the Norinco VN4 armoured personnel carriers were acquired from China in 2016 to specifically protect security agents from landmine and IED attacks.

The personnel were told to travel in the vehicles at all times to protect them from attacks by the insurgents.Kenya bought the 30 Chinese made VN-4 type APCs, which were given to the General Service Unit and Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU).An additional fleet of CS/VP3 type Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles was purchased and, among other units, was deployed to the Border Patrol Unit of the Administration Police.VN-4 APC model is manufactured by Chongqing Tiema Industries Corporation, a China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) company.

The CS/VP3 MRAPs model belongs to the Chinese Company Poly Technologies.Officials say there is no guarantee that one can survive a blast while in an MRAP, because that would depend on the mass of the explosive device.The carriers were deployed to Mandera, Elwak, Liboi, Amuma, Mangai, Basuba, Milimani, Mkowe, Mugumumbi and Mangai and Barago, Tot and Arabai in West Pokot.

By Standard.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Man who died inside city matatu did not succumb to Covid-19

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The man who died in a matatu along Mombasa road on Tuesday was not killed by Covid-19 as it was initially feared, the Nation has learnt.

Tests on samples taken from the man, who has been identified as Leonard Odhiambo, 57, turned negative for coronavirus.

City Mortuary deputy funeral superintendent Patrick Mbugua, however, said a post-mortem had not been done to determine the cause of death.

“The man was brought to the mortuary and the Covid-19 test came back negative. We suspect he died of blood pressure issues owing to the sudden manner of his death. However, we are still waiting for the post-mortem results. It was not Covid-19,” Mr Mbugua said on Thursday.

On Tuesday at around 7.30am, the matatu had left the ambassador bus stop in the city centre and was picking passengers along the way on its route to Embakasi.

Before 8am, Mr Odhiambo boarded the Embassava Sacco 14-seater matatu popularly known as Manchester at the South B bus stop as he was headed to Embakasi.

He sat on a seat at the row behind the driver’s cabin next to the passenger door. The row has three seats, but owing to Covid-19 regulations, it only had two passengers.

Slightly past Panari Hotel, at an area called Lab, the passenger seated next to Mr Odhiambo wanted to alight. As usual, the passenger next to the door is expected to alight to pave way for the other passengers to get off.

Mr Odhiambo did not move. Thinking he was asleep, the conductor tapped his shoulder. Nothing happened. With a strong nudge, the man is said to have heaved, coughed out aloud and slumped on his seat. It is suspected he breathed his last at this point.

His family went to the morgue on Wednesday evening but did not pick their departed one as they still await the post-mortem results.

by Nation.africa


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Lifestyle

Was soldier’s macabre murder premeditated?

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The gruesome murder of Lazarus Mwangi, 25, a junior soldier, seems to have been well- planned and executed.

Mwangi’s body was mutilated, eyes gouged, all limbs and hands broken. His body was found dumped at Masinga Dam in Machakos on November 22.

On November 14, Mwangi left his residence at Kahawa Barracks in Kiambu county after informing his seniors he was going to pick a parcel he had been sent from Mariakani Barracks in Kilifi.

That was the last time he was seen alive.

Mwangi had been initially posted to Mariakani Barracks in 2016 before his mysterious transfer to Kahawa Barracks in December 2019.

His transfer had, however, raised eyebrows because it is rare for a junior soldier of his rank to be transferred within that time frame.

Yesterday, a senior army official told People Daily that transfers rarely happen, especially with young and inexperienced soldiers.

“If a young soldier has been transferred, such a move can only be considered when he has specialised on a specific field and his expertise are required elsewhere. That is when a transfer can occur,” the officer who sought anonymity said. The deceased is said to have informed his wife, Ms Doris Muhoro, that he had gone to pick a parcel. On the fateful night, Muhoro tried several times to reach her husband but the calls went unanswered. She fell asleep.

However, during the night, Muhoro’s phone was called eight times by a private number at around 3am but she never answered because she was dead asleep and could not hear it ringing.

In Dagoretti, Nairobi the same night at 3am, Ms Jackline Wangeci, Mwangi’s sister, also received a call from a private number.

The caller who said that he was calling from Gilgil in Nakuru informed her that her brother had been kidnapped.

Same day
On November 15, Mwangi’s family shared what had transpired that night and efforts to trace him started the same day.

The deceased kin reported the matter at Kikuyu Police Station where both Ms Muhoro and Ms Wangeci recorded statements on what had transpired since the disappearance of Mwangi.

A detective privy to the investigations, and who spoke to People Daily on condition of anonymity said Mwangi’s phone Global Positioning System (GPS) history was traced to Muthurwa in Nairobi.

The detective further said that already, a woman had been arrested in connection with Mwangi’s death after sleuths attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations traced the people who called him on the day he disappeared.

“The people who called his sister saying they were calling from Gilgil were traced to Kamukunji. Already some arrests have been made,” the sleuth said.

Detectives have also obtained a series of chats between his brother based in South Sudan and an investigating officer. “They killed him after kidnapping him. We believe it was a bait. There was nothing like a parcel he was supposed to pick,” the brother said.

Masinga Police boss Francis Siror confirmed that residents recovered a badly mutilated body and informed them.

Consequently, the police informed the family who picked and transferred it to Thika Teaching and Referral Hospital Mortuary.

An autopsy conducted yesterday established that Mwangi was strangled to death.

by PD.co.ke


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Shock as woman chops off one-year-old son’s private parts

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A one-year-old boy is nursing serious injuries at the Kijabe Mission Hospital where he was admitted after his private parts were allegedly chopped off by his mother.

The boy’s aunt told the Nation that his mother, Winnie Mutheu, fled after committing the act on Thursday.

The aunt explained that as the boy’s father prepared to leave for work that morning, he heard loud, persistent cries from his son and got concerned.

“He asked his wife why their son was crying and she answered that the boy had broken his leg while playing with other children outside the house. My brother then decided to examine his son, only to find no injuries on either of his legs.”

“He went on to remove his son’s clothes and discovered that he had been physically abused,” the aunt said.

Gone into hiding

The couple has lived together for five years and are blessed with two children. There were no reports of conflict between the two when the boy was assaulted.

“The child is still in hospital in critical condition,” the aunt said.

Tigoni Sub County Police Commander Mwaniki Ireri said a manhunt for the woman has been launched.

“The case was officially reported yesterday by the boy’s father. We are pursuing the mother, and we are confident that we shall find her,” said Mr Ireri.

Efforts to get a comment from Kijabe hospital were futile as our calls and text messages went unanswered.

Bizarre as it may sound, cases of women chopping off their sons’ private parts are not new. In May 2018, a Chinese woman cut off her son’s penis just to get back at her husband’s family.

The boy’s manhood was saved by a quick phalloplasty surgery (penis reconstruction operation).

by nation.africa


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