A Standard Seven student was injured after suspected Al-Shabaab militants threw explosives into their Fino, Mandera County, school.
According to security agencies, the student was part of a group who had gathered to hear the area’s member of the county assembly (MCA).
The event occurred on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at Fino Primary School.
When reached for response, Lafey Deputy County Commissioner Juma Twabara refuted rumors of a terror incident in his district.
“I am not aware of any terror-related incident in Fino. Nothing has been reported to my office, but we have special forces in that area who have a different kind of protocol when reporting on any security incident,” Mr Twabara said.
Abdimalik Mohamed Ibrahim, MCA for Fino, confirmed that he was in a meeting with teachers and students when explosives were thrown at them.
“It was at about 5.50pm while I was in a meeting at the school when explosives were thrown at us. The pupil who was closer to me was injured,” Mr Ibrahim said.
The student was sent to Mandera County Referral Hospital with injuries to his left hand.
“Our security officers in the area engaged the attackers in a shootout as they ran towards Somalia. I personally brought the injured pupil to the county referral hospital,” he said.
Mr Ibrahim had come in the area earlier in the day on a fact-finding tour and had met with a number of different organizations.
Committee on Boreholes
“I had met with the security team in Fino and borehole committee members before going to the school to meet with teachers and students when the event occurred,” he explained.
He also claimed to have presided over the reopening of the Fino Health Centre, which had been closed for almost eight months following the kidnapping of its lone health officer in February.
Mr Jackson Kabuu, a clinical officer, was kidnapped by Al-Shabaab insurgents. At 7.30 p.m. on a Friday, the militants struck and proceeded straight to the homes of three medical officials.
They left with Mr Kabuu, but the other two were released.
Mr Kabuu’s whereabouts are unknown, with some claiming that he crossed into Somalia with the extremists.
Residents had reported seeing armed terrorists in the vicinity prior to the Tuesday evening incident, according to the MCA.
“Locals had reported the presence of terrorists in the region, and I’d want to congratulate the security agencies for their prompt response, which saved many lives,” Mr Ibrahim said.
Fino is one of the Mandera districts where terror attacks continue to occur because to its proximity to Kenya’s border with Somalia.
There are two mosques.
Last Saturday, terrorists attacked two mosques in the county and lectured citizens who were attending morning prayers.
Armed with AK-47 weapons, the extremists walked to the Elram A and Elram B mosques and briefly took over the session.
Elram, on the Kenya-Somalia border, is a terror hotspot, according to local security authorities.
The area has been identified as a possible entry point for Al-Shabaab fighters from Somalia into Mandera and Wajir districts.
At both mosques, terrorists pushed citizens to join them in fighting the government, just as officials wanted them to assist in fighting the militants.
As their colleagues lectured people, two armed militants stood guard at the main doors to the two mosques. According to the police report, no one was hurt in the occurrences.
The same terrorists assaulted a General Service Unit (GSU) camp in the vicinity after lecturing worshippers.
The militants launched rocket-propelled grenades at the GSU camp, but they missed their aim.
This was the third attack this month, after one 10 days ago at Libehiya Primary School in Arabia sub-county.
The number of reported sightings of armed militants in Mandera County is increasing as a Somalia operation continues to flush them out.
Civilians have joined government forces in Somalia to combat Al-Shabaab insurgents in their cities and villages.
The Kenyan government has invited inhabitants of Mandera to share information on militant operations.