Kenyan forces on Thursday thwarted an attempted attack by Somalia Islamist militants, al shaabab, the government said, attacks which targeted two local villages.
Sources told Baraka FM that armed gunmen arrived at Yumbis and Welmarer villages of Ijara constituency, on two trucks that had Kenyan registration plate numbers, and carried black flags with Arabic inscriptions which they tried to hoist in the area.
A picture sent to Baraka FM, but whose authenticity could not immediately be verified, depicted two white Toyota land Cruiser trucks carrying about a dozen of the armed militants each, cruising past children who stared.
“A gang of armed militants was sighted at around 6pm by members of the public who alerted security forces,” Mwenda Njoka, the interior ministry spokesman, said in a statement, adding that there had been no casualties in the gun battle that ensued.
Sources said the militants took control of the two villages for at least an hour, prayed at local mosques and even addressed locals where they reportedly warned local leaders from collaborating with government in the counter-terrorism war.
Police have denied these allegations saying the situation was ‘handled’ before the militants could do anything.
Earlier this week, the militants crossed into the country and allegedly preached at a mosque in Ijara for two hours where they are said to have warned government sympathisers again.
On April 2, they attacked Garissa University and massacred at least 148 people, many of them students.