Keeping Your Business in Mind

Equity Bank suspends operations in Elwak after IED explosion

By Antynet Ford

Equity Bank has announced suspension of operations at their Mandera branch following an explosion of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Elwak Town, Mandera County.

The lender said the staff working at the branch are safe and that they would be announcing resumption of services soon as they urged customers in the affected area to use the digital banking platforms and USSD code.

“Dear Esteemed Members, We regret to inform you, that our Elwak Branch, Mandera County will remain closed today following an explosion in Elwak Town. We confirm that our branch and the staff in Elwak are safe. However, as the security agencies continue with investigations.” Equity bank said in a message on social media.

Witnesses said they had seen at least five people motionless following the Monday, April 29 morning incident opposite a local Administration Police camp.

Police in the area confirmed there was an explosion and added they did not have details of the same.

The victims, according to witnesses are four non-locals and a local one. But police had not confirmed the numbers.

The targeted premise houses non-locals including teachers, nurses casual labourers and police officers.

Security operations were immediately launched after the explosion but no arrest was made.

Officials said they believe the incident was set up by al-Shabaab terrorists or their remnants operating in the area.

The explosion may have also been set up by locals who are extremists and hiding behind al shabaab terrorists, officials said.

This is the latest such incident to happen in the area amid ongoing operations to tame the terror activities there.

On April 13, gunmen suspected to be al Shabaab militants raided a local hospital and terrorized guards on duty.

The area is near the Kenya-Somalia border, which the terrorist group frequently breaches.

Guards at the Elwak Referral Hospital reported they were on duty when four men armed with rifles and in military attire walked to their sentries.

Police say they have increased operations in the area to address terror threats.

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