Kenyan police launch manhunt for al-Shabab militants in border region

Kenyan police officers patrol Mavuno villages near Mpeketoni after unidentified gunmen recently attacked the coastal Kenyan town of Mpeketoni, June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
FILE PHOTO: Kenyan police officers drive in their truck as they arrive at the scene where explosions and gunshots were heard at the Dusit hotel compound, in Nairobi, January 16, 2019./REUTERS

Kenyan security forces have launched a manhunt for al-Shabab militants behind the abduction of two Kenyans in Liboi area along the Kenya-Somalia border.

Garissa County police commander Alfred Angengo said the two businessmen, Abdullahi Issack Harun and Abdi Hassan Ilkaase, who were kidnapped by about 20 al-Shabab militants on Dec. 26, were traced and taken to Liboi police station on Sunday.

He said only three militants boarded the vehicle in which the two businessmen were traveling in and proceeded with the captives to neighboring Somalia.

“Only three of the al-Shabab militia proceeded with the captives to Somalia at a place called Bagdad, 60 km from Hosingo, to the east where they have established a camp and hosted black flag,” Angengo said in a statement.

The two businessmen, who were freed on Dec. 27, appeared in good health though tired, he said.

The two were ferrying miraa (khat) to Liboi when they were ambushed by al-Shabab militants and taken to Somalia, Angengo said.

He said security forces will conduct operations along the border areas to flush out militants believed to be planning to stage attacks in the region.

The abduction came two weeks after militants ambushed a Garissa-bound commuter bus and killed 11 people, including eight police officers.