Unknown gunmen disrupt school examinations in Kenya
Unknown gunmen have opened fire in an examination center in Wajir County in northeast Kenya, disrupting ongoing examinations which are taking place across the East African nation.
Regional government official Mohamud Saleh said a security operation has been launched to track down the suspects whom the locals and police say could not establish their motive. No injury was reported.
Saleh said the armed men forced their way into Abaqkorey High School and opened fire at the candidates just a few minutes after they had started their History paper, forcing the examiners to stop examinations for some minutes as security personnel there sought to establish the source of the gunshots.
“There were gunshots in the area that forced disruption of the sitting of History paper but security officials there did not establish the source and those behind the same.
“They fired back when the first shots rang,” said Saleh.
He added that there were six police officers manning the center at the time of the incident and some of them fired back when the shots were heard from outside.
The police said the students scampered for safety after they heard gunshots before the assailants fled into a nearby bush.
Wajir borders Somalia where Al-Shabaab have been mounting cross-border attacks.
Local police commander Caleb Wesa confirmed that no student was injured and that they had launched a manhunt for the two men.
“We are yet to establish the motive behind the attack but we are investigating the matter,” he said.
The center is in a small town and is in Habaswein district and near the border of Garissa and Wajir counties. The area is embroiled in clan fighting over boundary issues.
Saleh could not tell if those behind the shooting were Al-Shabaab gunmen or local militia involved in fighting over clan and boundary issues.
The Wajir region has been crippled by persistent insecurity incidents propelled by Al-Shabaab terrorists.
The incident comes after the police killed four Al-Shabaab militants in neighboring Mandera County on Sunday.
Al-Shabab has staged numerous cross-border raids since Kenya decided in October 2011 to send troops into Somalia to confront them. The group says it is fighting for an Islamic state in Somalia.