20 suspected Al Shabaab militants killed in Kenya attack

Thursday July 06 2023

Kenya Defence Forces soldier takes aim during a patrol. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG


An ambush on a Special Operation Group (Sog) by suspected members of the Al Shabaab group left at least 20 militants dead and eight security officers injured.

The Wednesday evening incident at Ogorwen in Mandera County, is seen as a major breakthrough by the Kenyan security agencies in the past one month when the militants launched attacks in the area.

Read: Shabaab militants make northern Kenya their playground

Dr Resila Onyango, the National Police Spokesperson said the security agencies responded ‘successfully’.

“There was an incident in Mandera and preliminary investigations indicate that the resulting heavy gunfire exchange between our officers who were on patrol, and the militants, left 20 militants fatally injured,” she said by phone.

 Police also recovered assorted weapons from the scene including a sub-machine gun and an RPG among other items recovered, according to Dr Onyango.


“As a service, we commend our officers for their dedication to duty, and reiterate our commitment to enhancing national security,” the NPS said on Twitter in relation to the incident.

Reliable sources said the officers were pursuing the gang when they were attacked with a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) prompting the clash. At least eight officers were injured in the clash.

Read: Kenya police officers killed in suspected Shabaab blast

Dr Onyango said none of the 20 killed suspected militants has been identified by the locals but investigations were underway to know their origin.

"Police in Mandera are investigating a suspected Shabaab terrorist attack following an ambush on our Sog team on July 5, 2023, at Ogorwen Location within Mandera County," said NPS tweet.

Speaking in Garissa on Monday, Northeastern Regional Commissioner John Otieno said most of the militants causing trouble in the region were locals.

The recent attacks have forced the government to suspend plans to reopen the Kenya-Somalia border.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said this follows an increase of terror-related attacks along the Kenya-Somalia border in the past month that have claimed more than 20 lives, most of them being security officers.

“The Government will delay the planned reopening of Kenya-Somalia border points until we conclusively deal with the recent spate of terror attacks and cross-border crime,” the CS said on Wednesday while in Dadaab, Garissa County.

Read: Kenya delays reopening border with Somalia

“We have postponed the plans to reopen the main borders in Mandera, Wajir, here in Liboi and Kiunga due to the increased attacks by the terrorists in the past months. We will deal with them first then continue with the plans,” Prof Kindiki said.

In the past three days, the CS has been touring the counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa mainly meeting security officers on the ground including getting to their camps and holding security briefs.

It was during this tour that the CS revealed that the government had launched an operation targeting the terror cells in the area.

The operation is also aimed at providing round the clock security to contractors and engineers working on key infrastructure projects in North Eastern Kenya and insulate them from criminal elements and extremists keen on sabotaging their operations.

Among projects targeted are the Horn of Africa Gateway from Isiolo to Mandera and the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapsett) that was suspended early this year due to sustained terror attacks.

Read: Why Lapsset is stuck on the starting blocks

Meanwhile, detectives are holding Griftu Police Station OCS at Wajir Police Headquarters following the disappearance of four firearms and ammunition.

Four rifles and a total of 110 rounds of ammunition have been reported missing from Griftu police station armoury in Wajir West Sub-County in unclear circumstances.

Three AK-47 rifles, one G3 rifle, 90 rounds of ammunition used in AK-47 rifles and another 20 rounds of ammunition for G3 rifles were found missing despite the Arms Movement Records indicating that the missing arms and ammunition were in the armory.

“It was initially thought to be a misplacement but on further scrutiny, the rifles were discovered missing from the station armory,” a police report reads.

The missing rifles include a G3 rifle Serial number G3 F89936 and three AK-47 rifle serial numbers KP 5501679, 5503607 and 5522034.

The OCS had reported the missing of the weapons on July 3 but despite a thorough search, none had been found five days later.

A report from Griftu Police Station indicated it was initially thought to be a misplacement of the weapons but on further scrutiny the rifles were discovered missing from the station armory.

A thorough search conducted since then within the station and all police posts within the station including a check on the National Police Reservists (NPRs) yielded no fruits.

Griftu Police Station is the headquarters of Wajir West Sub County and it has a Sub County Police Commander (SCPC).

The key to the armory is kept by both the OCS and another officer in-charge of the armory.

The Wajir County Criminal Investing team is interrogating the OCS who was picked from the station Thursday morning.

Also arrested is the officer in-charge of the armory at the station.

Read: Kenyan trader probed for 'shipping arms to Shabaab'

It is suspected that the missing firearms could have been sold to the Al Shabaab militants wreaking havoc in the region.

Griftu area remains one of terror hotspots in Wajir County.