Security personnel have thwarted an attack by suspected Somali militants, Al-Shabaab on a Safaricom communication mast in Fafi, Garrisa County.

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North Eastern Regional Commissioner (RC) Mohamed Birik who confirmed the incident said the security forces from Garissa responded quickly during the attack.

Birik said the security officers who were very alert responded after they heard gunfire near the Safaricom mast during the Tuesday midnight attack.

The Al-Shabaab militants had destroyed a diesel generator that was being used to power the Safaricom mast but the officers managed to arrive at the site before the militants destroyed the mast.

Birik said the seven militants who were armed with AK-47 rifles fired several rounds to destroy the generator, thereby, alerting the officers.

“The militants first fired several rounds on the diesel generator destroying it. But before they destroyed the mast, our security officers in the nearby camp arrived and engaged them forcing the militants to escape,” Birik said.

Birik said the officers effectively engaged the attackers and repulsed them adding that there were injuries on both sides.

The RC dismissed rumours on social media that the 21 security officers who responded to the attack are missing and that the mast was destroyed.

“It’s untrue that the mast was destroyed. We have accounted for all our officers. I want to urge those posting unverified information on social media to stop the habit.” 

“The information only serves to create panic and nothing else. Let those fond of using the social media to desist from posting unverified reports especially touching on security,” he added.

Birik said they are pursuing the attackers adding that the security officers are on high alert following the attack.