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Al-Shabaab destroys telcom mast in Mandera

Al-Shabaab militants destroyed a Hormuud Telecom communication mast located in Elwak, Mandera County, on Saturday at 2am, disrupting communication in the area.

The town is on the Kenya-Somalia border.

According to sources in the area, the militants destroyed the mast following earlier reports that locals have been reporting Al-Shabaab activity in the area to Kenyan and Somali security forces through the network.

ACCUSATIONS

Residents, however, disagreed, saying that Amisom forces in the region were communicating with residents in preparation for a medical camp scheduled for next week.

“The troops have been gathering useful information such as the number of children, expectant mothers and elderly people in the area to facilitate the medical camp,” said an elder from the area.

“Al-Shabaab accused us of sharing information on their whereabouts with the troops, which is untrue.”

The disruption of communication, residents lament, would hamper the medical camp.

Al-Shabaab activities have persisted in the town in the last few months, according to residents.

ATTACKS

In December 2017, the militants destroyed a crucial well in Lafey Town, inconveniencing hundreds of residents who depended on the well for water.

Many districts in Somalia are currently facing drought.

The well had been sunk by officers of the Kenya Defence Forces.

While Amisom troops have largely overpowered the militia and paralysed their activity in Somalia and Kenya, the militants have resorted to attacking civilians and even executing others.

The militants also cut off women and children’s access to humanitarian aid such as food and healthcare services.

Earlier this month, suspected Shabaab fighters destroyed a Safaricom communication mast in Wajir County using rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), paralysing mobile communication in the area.

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