Three teachers killed, fourth kidnapped in Kenya attack

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS)

Three teachers were killed and a fourth kidnapped in eastern Kenya, in an attack by gunmen believed to be fighters of the Somali Islamic Youth Movement, in which they partially destroyed a communications column and burned a police station, police sources said.

“At around 2:00 p.m. (23:00 GMT Sunday),” Kenyan police said, “Gunmen believed to be members of Al-Shabaab attacked the primary school in Kamothe and the police station in Kamothe and a communications column, and killed three teachers.”

Kamothi is forty kilometers south of the city of Garissa in southeastern Kenya.

“Three teachers who were not from the area were killed and another kidnapped,” said a police report seen by AFP, adding that “the attackers excluded a nurse in the area because of her gender.”

The police added that “the communications column was partially damaged but it is still functioning,” explaining that it was searching for the attackers.

A senior police official told AFP, on condition of anonymity, “set fire to” the Kamothe police station.

Al-Shabaab has carried out several large-scale attacks in Kenya that it says are in response to sending Kenyan military personnel to Somalia in 2011 to help combat the movement, and the youth have also targeted foreign interests in the country.

Since the beginning of the year, this Al Qaeda-linked Islamic movement has intensified its attacks in eastern Kenya along the border with Somalia, and the Kenyan police have been placed on high alert.

Al-Shabaab attacks reflect the extent of its ability to inflict great damage in the region, despite the loss of its most prominent civilian strongholds in Somalia.

The movement was expelled from its main stronghold, Mogadishu, in 2011, but it still controls large rural areas from which to launch guerrilla warfare and suicide attacks. The movement’s fighters are estimated to number between five thousand and nine thousand people.

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