Blast near Somalia border kills 8 Kenyan police officers
GARISSA - At least eight security personnel were Sunday killed after a vehicle they were travelling in hit a set improvised bomb in Bojigaras area, Wajir County. The victims included five Administration Police Officers and three police reservists.
Police authorities said the vehicle that the deceased was using ran over an Improvised Explosive Device which sent it flying.
Witnesses said the vehicle was badly damaged killing the victims who are on board.
North Eastern regional coordinator Muhammad Saleh said those behind the attack escaped soon after the incident.
He said preliminary findings pointed to Somalia’s Al-Shabaab terror gang.
“The attackers escaped soon after the blast and we suspect Al-Shabaab is behind it,” he said. A reinforcement was immediately sent to the scene but nothing was salvaged in terms of life. It came in the wake of warnings of planned attacks by the terror group. Authorities had last week warned the terrorists planned to stage attacks ahead of the end of Ramadan period.
On June 6 at least 6 paramilitary personnel were killed and three others injured when their vehicle ran over an explosive at Liboi, Garissa County. The scene of the attack in Harhar area is less than two kilometres from the main Kenya-Somalia border.
The General Service Unit officers were patrolling the border aboard a truck when it ran over the Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Witnesses said the explosion killed the five and badly damaged the vehicle. The three who survived were badly wounded.
They were all from Harhar GSU camp. Other reports said they were pursuing contraband sugar when they were hit.
The deaths were the latest and came after a long lull from terror-related incidents that has been experienced in the area at large.
There were indications of imminent attacks in the area. Locals reported to authorities of movements that indicated Al-Shabaab terror group was planning an attack.
“The indications were there because among others, elderly people had been moved from the area to Garissa and a number of youths had not returned to the area. Al-Shabaab militants were also sighted there,” said an official based in the area.
Police had issued a security alert over possible attacks in the country by the Somalia based terror group during the Ramadhan season. Police spokesman Charles Owino said security agencies had obtained credible intelligence suggesting that Al-Shabaab are planning to carry out attacks in various parts of the country during the World Cup period and after the Ramadan period.
The Liboi incident was the first one since the beginning of the Ramadan period. He asked Kenyans to be extra vigilant especially in populated public places such as hotels, church, bus stages and schools during the World Cup period.
“Though the capability of Al-Shabaab has been greatly downgraded over time, we have credible intelligence suggesting that the militia group is planning to carry out further attacks in the county," he added.