Al-Shabaab militants kill 8 in Kenya bus attack

Several police officers were among at least 8 people killed in an Al-Shabaab group attack on a bus in northeast Kenya. (AFP)
Updated 07 December 2019

Al-Shabaab militants kill 8 in Kenya bus attack

  • Al-Shabaab released a statement taking responsibility for killing ‘10 crusaders among them secret security agents and government employees’

NAIROBI: Several police officers were among at least eight people killed in an attack on a bus in northeast Kenya claimed Saturday by the Somali Islamist Al-Shabaab group.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had been briefed on the “brutal” murders of eight people, including police, during the attack in Wajir county, a presidential spokesperson said Saturday.
However, a senior police source said that the toll was 10 dead, seven of them police.
“We lost seven police officers in the bus attack,” the source said, asking not to be named.
“The total number of the people killed are 10. One was identified as a local doctor.”
A police statement released Friday evening gave no casualty toll, just noting that the bus, which linked the towns of Wajir and Mandera, came under attack about 17:30 local time (1430 GMT).
“Security forces are pursuing the killers,” the state house spokesperson said, adding, “the government will not relent in its ruthless crackdown on criminal elements including suspected terrorists in its solemn duty to safeguard the lives and property of Kenyans.”
The Shabaab released a statement taking responsibility for killing “10 crusaders among them secret security agents and government employees.”
The area where the attack took place borders Somalia, which is regularly the scene of Shabaab raids.
On June 15, at least eight police officers were killed in similar circumstances in Wajir county.
Home-made weapons and bombs have been used to kill dozens of police and soldiers in the northern and eastern border regions, where such attacks are relatively common.
Al-Qaeda affiliate Shabaab has been fighting for more than a decade to overthrow successive internationally-backed Somali governments and has previously resorted to direct attacks on road vehicles.
Kenya sent troops into southern Somalia in 2011, joining the regional peacekeeping force AMISOM that drove the Shabaab from Mogadishu.
The government has justified the incursion to protect Kenyans from Shabaab which, among other attacks, killed 21 people in Nairobi in January.
AMISOM includes troops from a number of African nations including Kenya, making security forces from the country a target for the militants.


Ukraine to press for plane crash black boxes as Iran minister visits

Updated 20 January 2020

Ukraine to press for plane crash black boxes as Iran minister visits

  • Ukraine’s foreign minister said returning the black boxes would show that Iran wanted an unbiased investigation of the crash
  • The plane disaster has heightened international pressure on Iran

KIEV: Ukraine will press Iran to hand over the black boxes from the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane at a meeting with a visiting Iranian delegation on Monday, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told reporters.
Ukraine would convey the message to visiting Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami, that returning the black boxes would show that Iran wanted an unbiased investigation of the crash, Prystaiko said.
“His main task is to apologize and acknowledge what happened. We hope that we can go a little further than just political discussions and discuss practical problems. Among them in particular is the return of the black boxes,” Prystaiko said.
Iran had said on Sunday it was trying to analyze the black boxes from the airliner its military shot down this month, denying an earlier report it would hand them to Ukraine. All 176 aboard the flight died.
“At first they stated that they were handing them over, then the same person stated that they were not handing them over. This created some misunderstanding in Ukraine and we were starting to be asked: are they being handed over or not?“
Many of those killed had were Iranians with dual citizenship, but Iran does not recognize dual nationality and on Monday said it would treat the victims as Iranian nationals.
Canada, which had 57 citizens on the flight, said there were still no firm plans for downloading the recorders. Ottawa and other capitals have called for the black boxes to be sent abroad.
The Jan. 8 plane disaster has heightened international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long-running dispute with the United States over its nuclear program and its influence in the region that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.
The Iranian military has said it downed Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 in error in the aftermath of tit-for-tat strikes by the United States and Iran. But authorities delayed admitting this, prompting days of protests on Iran’s streets.
Ukraine held a ceremony at Kiev’s Boryspil airport on Sunday as the bodies of 11 citizens, including nine crew, were returned to Ukraine.