Three miners were killed and one injured by al-Shabab militants at a quarry in Mandera county in northeast Kenya on Thursday, an official confirmed on Friday.
Northeastern regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh said the militants stormed the Shimbir Fatuma Quarry, about 65 kilometers from the Kenya-Somalia border, where the miners were living, on Thursday evening.
“Reports from the scene of an incident is that three were confirmed dead and one injured person is currently at Shimpir Fatuma health center while some are yet to be established where they are,” Saleh said.
He said two of the workers escaped with gunshot wounds. The quarry workers seemed to have defied government orders to vacate the area following increased cases of al-Shabab attacks in the restive region that borders Somalia
Two miners were killed by the militia in a similar incident a year go after they apparently sneaked back to the quarry in Mandera sub-county following a security operation.
The authorities in 2015 ordered all quarries in Mandera County near the Somali border be closed and all workers to vacate the places due to terror threats. The directive came after the murder of 14 quarry workers.
The workers, however, faulted the government’s move saying that they were not given reasons for the closure of the mines but only told to vacate their working places. They argued that the quarries near the Kenya-Somalia border were secure.
According to Kenyan authorities, more than 500 workers mine in the same quarry, something they said terrorists will capitalize on as they gain fame in killing a large number of innocent Kenyans.