Kenyan security officers have launched a manhunt for Al-Shabaab militants who had hijacked a vehicle in northeast Mandera country near the Somalia border early Saturday.
Mandera County Commissioner Frederick Shisia confirmed that the vehicle branded Jubilee Party (ruling party) vehicle was hijacked by the insurgents at gunpoint at Kutulo and driven to Somalia. The occupants of the vehicle were on a political campaign trail.
“The vehicle which was on a Jubilee party campaign trail was hijacked and driven inside Somalia. It was taken at gunpoint at around 8 a.m.,” Shisia told Xinhua.
He said the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) are pursuing the attackers who crossed into Somalia.
Mandera South Police chief Charles Chacha confirmed the incident and said the driver and passenger are missing after the ambush. Chacha said a rescue operation by the KDF is underway but so far no suspect has been arrested.
“The issue has been taken over by our military inside Somalia where we believe it was hijacked but the driver and another passenger are yet to be found,” Chacha said.
According to the police, the vehicle had dropped several supporters of Mandera Governor Ali Roba who had attended a political rally in Kotulo town the previous day.
The Al-Shabaab have changed tactics and resorted to abductions and using improvised explosive devices to carry out attacks in parts of Coast region and North Eastern, according to police.
More than 30 police officers and civilians have been were killed in similar attacks in northeastern Kenyan counties in the past two months.