Tearful tribute to fallen AP officers

A relative to one of the fallen AP officers is comforted by officers during the memorial service. Photo David Njaaga/Standard


A relative to one of the fallen AP officers is comforted by officers during the memorial service. Photo David Njaaga/Standard

Emotions ran high as family members joined senior Internal Security officials in a memorial service for 17 police officer killed in terrorist ambushes.

The officers were killed in separate attacks between May 24 and May 31 in Garissa, Mandera, and Lamu after their vehicles were ripped apart by landmines set up by Al Shabaab terrorists.

Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet pledged to pursue the officers’ killers.

Among the mourners were a man who lost his 27-year-old- grandson and a woman who lost her 34-year-old husband after only two years of marriage.

“His life was cut short. He was still very young and had a lot to live for,” said Albert Bunyasi as he mourned his grandson, Stephen Mulat.

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Mulat died with five colleagues after a police truck they were travelling in ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Mangai area, Lamu County.

Mulat, who lost his mother when he was six months old, struggled to go through school before joining the police service. He was deployed to Lamu in 2015 and died on May 31.

Their lorry was carrying 15 officers from the Rapid Deployment Unit when it ran over an the IED, cutting short the six lives and promising police careers.

The other victims were Jackson Mukhanda, Nelson Mwai, Benson Wambui, Tom Ogony, and Arasa Rogena.

The attack that claimed Mulat’s life came just days after five Administration Police officers were killed when their Land Cruiser ran over an IED between Arabia and Lafey in Mandera.

The officers were part of County Governor Ali Roba’s convoy during party nomination campaigns in the area.

Recalled memories

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Habiba Bishar, the widow of one of the officers, could not hold back her tears as she talked about her husband, Mohamed Ibrahim.

“He was a very caring and loving husband and father. He interacted well with all his family members. He will surely be missed,” she said.

They had been married for two years and had a one-year-old son.

Ibrahim perished alongside Ayub Abdi, Ibrahim Noor, Abdinasir Edin, and Boniface Mutuku.

On the same day, four other officers were killed and two others were injured when their vehicle hit a landmine in Kulan area in Garissa County.

Isaak Durrow, Abikarim Osman, Khalif Yussuf, and Oliver Ochieng perished in the explosion.

On May 25, two police officers were killed after their vehicle ran over an IED in Liboi area, Garissa County.

Hussein Aden and Yussuf Mwero were on patrol in Kulan area when their vehicle hit a landmine at 6.30am.

The attacks have been described as inhumane and cowardly.

Both Nkaissery and Boinnet said the deaths had strengthened the country’s resolve to fight terrorism.

“You can run but you cannot hide. One way or another, we shall get you and when we do, you shall pay,” said Nkaissery.

Boinnet reiterated the Government’s commitment to smoking out the enemy.

“In honour of the officers, their families, and our National Police Service, their grief and pain will not be in vain,” he said.

He added that the injured officers in hospital were determined to get well and return to the battle field to face the enemy.

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