A KDF jet during a past fly-past parade
By KHALID MUSA
Leaders from Mandera County have claimed that Kenya Defence Forces airstrikes killed four children as they hunted down Al-Shabaab militants who killed five police officers in Elwak area.
Mandera Governor Ali Roba, senator Billow Kerrow and Mandera West MP Mohamed Mahmoud blamed KDF for the deaths terming it irresponsible.
They all posted their comments on social media saying the death of the four children happened Wednesday.
Governor Roba said the deaths occurred in Elram village, Elwak, Mandera County as he condemned the incident.
“Four children were killed by KDF air strikes while they were engaging Alshabaab in Elram village. KDF’s indiscriminate engagement with Al Shabaab leading to loss of civilians is unacceptable,” Mr Roba said on his twitter account.
But Department of Defence headquarters has denied they were involved in any operation in the area since Tuesday when the killing of the five officers happened.
DoD spokesman Col David Obonyo said KDF had not been involved in any operation in the area.
“We have not had an operation in the said area since Monday. We don’t know who and what happened on the issue,” he said.
Mr Kerrow said there was no justification for the said killing of the children who were playing at an open field.
“There is no justification for the brutal killing of innocent children by KDF in Mandera,” he said.
Mr Mahmoud too condemned the incident and demanded responsibility from the troops.
“I strongly condemn the senseless killing of innocent children in Elram. This is totally unacceptable and KDF must take responsibility,” he said in a post.
The area of the alleged strikes is said to be near where five police officers were killed on Tuesday in an ambush by the terrorists.This brought in the question on who could be behind the killings.
The pictures of the slain children were widely shared on social media. Some of the commentators said the troops were pursuing the terrorists who stole guns from the five officers in the incident.
The bodies of constables Nicholas Koyo, Peter Makemba, Hilary Kandie, James Mulei and John Pelekeche were flown to Nairobi aboard a police chopper a day after they had been killed in an ambush in Elwak area, Mandera County.