Security agencies in Wajir County are pursuing suspected Al-Shabaab militants after they abducted a chief from Gumerey at Khorof Harar in Wajir East.
A security brief shared among senior security officers in the North Eastern Region indicated the chief was abducted on Friday evening.
“On Friday at about 7pm at Gumerey centre, situated 12km North of Khorof Harar, Al-Shabaab entered the centre and ordered residents to switch off their phones before lecturing them,” the security briefs reads in part.
The brief further indicates that the militants walked away with the chief and four other people at about 8:30pm.
The brief identified the abducted chief as Mr Omar Aden but explained that he has been on the security radar as an Al-Shabaab sympathiser.
According to the brief, the armed militants who raided the township numbered atleast 20.
Despite the report being sent out while the militants continued with their lecture, no security apparatus responded to the incident.
The Deputy County Commissioner Khorof Harar, Mr Ibrahim Muchangi, said the incident was reported on Friday evening and that investigations are underway.
“We had a report made from that area but we are in process of finding out what exactly happened since the area is experiencing clan feuds and we just don’t want to conclude that it is about Al-Shabaab,” Muchangi said by phone.
The administrator said due to the poor communication network, it remains unclear if the chief is within the area or is indeed missing.
Mr Muchangi, however declined to comment on the reported lecture by militants, only stating that investigations are underway.
Khorof Harar was in August elevated to a sub county with the national government pledging to beef up security in an area that lies along the porous Somalia border.
Khorof Harar has been in headlines due to persistent terror incidents in the area.
In May, suspected members of Al-Shabaab militants attacked Khorof Kharar police camp and destroyed a Safaricom communication mast.
In April, atleast six people, including a Kenya police reservist, were killed in the area by suspected Al-Shabaab militants.
Prior to that in January, two people were injured after a commuter bus operating between Khorof Harar and Qarsa was sprayed with bullets by suspected Al-Shabaab militants.