NAIROBI - Kenyan police say suspected al-Shabab militants killed three teachers in Kenya’s northeastern Garissa county early Monday in the second attack on a school in the area in as many weeks. Officials have withdrawn teachers from the area for their safety.
Kenyan police say the teachers were killed when an unknown number of armed men attacked a school in Garissa county, near the border with Somalia.
Police spokesman Charles Owino says the militants also attacked a police post, but he says no officers were injured.
"Today morning at about 02:00, armed attackers believed to be al-Shabab militia attacked Kamuthe primary school next to Kamuthe police post. They attempted to destroy a telecommunication mast, and they also murdered three teachers," he said.
As police began a search for the attackers, Garissa County education officials, with the help of the national government, withdrew teachers from the schools perceived to be too dangerous.
"The market center was attacked, police camp was burned, the Safaricom mast was burned, they also attacked the school, they went and picked on non-Muslim teachers and three were killed, one is injured," said Khalif Sheikh Issack, the Garissa county education chief. "The remaining teachers we advise them to come to Garissa, [and] we picked most of them. All teachers in this county now are going to be assembled in Garissa for further advice and deployment elsewhere, where there is security.”
Hassan Omar is a member of the county assembly of Garissa. His constituency falls under the area that came under attack.
"The most safe place in Garissa is this line, Bura district, where previous teachers were transferred to. Now this has happened, it shows nowhere is safe in Garissa county,” he said.
On January 7, at least four students were killed and four more injured when al-Shabab militants attacked another primary school in a remote village of the county.
Security officers have been accused of not providing enough security to protect the teachers and the school.
Garissa County Commissioner Meru Mwangi Garissa told VOA the government has not abandoned its people.
He calls on locals to help the police with information.
It's unfortunate, because they are dealing with innocent locals, and we, as the government, we are inquiring and asking members of the public to help and assist the security agencies with information so that this kind of activities can be reduced,” he said.
In just over a month, al-Shabab has been blamed for attacks that killed at least 23 people in Kenya, including an attack on a military base that killed three Americans.
The militant group wants Kenyan troops to leave Somalia, where they are helping the Somali government maintain security and fight al-Shabab.