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ITWeb Africa

Friday, Jan 17th

Militant group 'kills' Safaricom employee

al-shabaab-militia1story

Suspected Al-Shabaab militants have allegedly killed a driver of telecommunications firm Safaricom in North Eastern Kenya, near the Somali border on Sunday.

The incident happened when the Safaricom driver was escorting four police officers and a technician to the Mandera area to attend to one of the company’s telecommunication masts.

However, the group, who were in a Landcruiser, were abruptly apprehended by a gang of about 50 heavily armed gunmen, who proceeded to spray the Safaricom vehicle with bullets according eyewitnesses at the scene.

The gunmen then turned their aim on the unnamed driver, who died on the scene.

The gang also later fled off with the Safaricom vehicle after overpowering police officers.

“The body of the driver has been discovered in the area and the attackers apparently escaped with the vehicle,” said Kenya’s North Eastern police boss, Philip Tuimur.

Police are yet to make any arrest and say they are pursuing several leads.

Meanwhile, Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore expressed his condolences for the dead driver.

“Unfortunate price of providing service in that area. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” tweeted Collymore.

He further said that has been concerned at the increased insecurity in the region, and how it has impacted on Safaricom's service provision in the area.

Since Kenyan troops crossed to Somalia to hunt Al-Shabaab militants, the North Eastern region has witnessed a series of attacks believed to be conducted either by the group or its sympathisers.

The attack on Safaricom vehicle is the fourth in the area in just a month, say police.

Acting internal security minister Yusuf Haji has said the government plans to send 700 additional security agents and 14 vehicles to help in addressing the problem of insecurity in the region.

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