Kenya Defence Special Forces intensified an operation against Al-Shabaab militants in Mandera County at the weekend and killed one suspected militant before capturing another one.
The Special forces led the ambush between Guticha and Olla, Mandera North.
The suspected militants have been roaming in the area in the past few months leaving a trail of destruction especially on government installations and telecommunications masts in a bid to cut off information to the security teams.
The government deployed the Special Forces in the expansive area following increased incidents in which the militants have been targeting public service vehicles, vital installations and other private vehicles attacking them.
Reports from the Police headquarters said more personnel had been sent there and would ensure they get rid of the criminals.
While being interrogated, the captured militant told the officers they were about 50 militants roaming the area and the accomplices were on the run.
On January 19, the gang attacked and destroyed a communication mast in Sarman area, Mandera County leaving many out of reach.
On Tuesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i downplayed claims of Al-Shabaab militants dominating Northern Kenya after Mandera Governor Ali Roba intimated that the North Eastern part is inhabited by close to 50 percent Al-Shabaab.
Matiang’i termed the claims as lies being peddled by the local leaders.
Whereas he acknowledged that the security threat in the area remains real due to its strategic location with the war-torn Somalia, the Interior boss was categorical that the situation is not as dire as a section of local politicians have alleged.
Matiang’i said he is set to meet the area leaders soon over a security challenge that has disrupted the normal lives of residents and has claimed tens of lives this year alone.
North Eastern leaders have claimed that some schools are yet to reopen despite a government directive.
“If you look at the investment that we have made as a government in Northern Kenya and specifically in the war against terror, it speaks for itself,” he said.
Roba had claimed the militants were controlling 50 per cent of highways in the border county, despite the heavy presence of security officers.
The terrorists have been targeting government officials and non-locals working in the area.
“Some of those exaggerated comments, I will deal with them blow by blow when we have a security meeting with the rest of leaders from the region,” he said.
The terrorists have been targeting security installations in the area in a series of incidents destroying them. This has affected the education sector forcing tens of teachers who are non locals to leave there.
The border region has borne the brunt of repeated attacks from the militants who are at times aided by locals.
Al-Shabaab terrorists have been attacking places in the region especially in Mandera and Garissa counties after breaching security zones, which left dozens of civilians and security officials dead and wounded.
Kenyan troops are in Somalia to pursue and suppress the activities of the terror group.