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Mandera passengers stranded following increased Al-Shabaab attacks

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Several vehicles including a PSV vehicle have been attacked on the Mandera/ Garissa route with militants scaling up their campaign of attacking non local travelers using the road.

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Mandera residents are calling on the government to fast track restoration of security as runaway banditry has adversely affected the transport sector in the area.

The residents who spoke in the major bus terminus for buses plying to Nairobi said they have shelved going to the capital via the road owing to increased Al-Shabaab attacks targeting security agents and non-local travelers.

Mandera Bus chairman Mohamed Bardad said though transport for vehicles plying to Nairobi resumed on Monday, non-local travelers have been advised to use the Moyale route and avoid the Garissa road.

Several vehicles including a PSV vehicle have been attacked on the Mandera/ Garissa route with militants scaling up their campaign of attacking non local travelers using the road.

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On Sunday morning a PSV vehicle was attacked at Jabibar area near the Bamboo police post on the Mandera/ Garissa route.

The driver of the vehicle and passengers escaped unhurt after gunmen believed to be Al-Shabaab militants’ sprayed bullets on the vehicle before planting an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that went off seconds after the PSV car had passed the dragnet.

The incident which happened a day after local bus companies had suspended transport owing to insecurity is the sixth attack on public transport vehicles since 2015.

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Abdi Rashid Mohamed a stranded passenger asked the government to upscale security on the roads saying he has suspended his journey to Nairobi over fear of attacks by the Al-Shabaab.

Mandera police commander Jeremiah Kosiom in a separate interview said he has instructed sub county police commanders to increase number of police patrolling the roads.

The Al-Shabaab have increased attacks in the past three months after they abducted Cuban doctors in broad day light, before planting an IED targeting a police escort vehicle which escaped a landmine. A PSV vehicle was attacked around the same area with passengers escaping unhurt.

The attacks followed the killing of two Al-Shabaab militants in combat by Kenyan forces where two others were injured and a national police reservist killed by the militants.

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