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Somalia: IED blast injures 6 Kenyan police officers in Garissa

By Xinhua

GARISSA, Kenya - At least Six Kenyan police officers were injured on Tuesday evening after the vehicle in which they were travelling in ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Garissa country near the Somali border.

David Kerina, Garissa County Police Commander, confirmed the incident at Masalani area after police officers from Ijara camp were attacked by people believed to be al-Shabab while they were escorting a bulldozer to Sangailu police camp in Holugho Division.

He said the vehicle ran over the IED leading to a blast and injuries. It was badly damaged. Kerina said police officers exchanged heavy gunfire with militants who fled after being overpowered.

"The officers have been injured although they are all out of danger and they have been airlifted to Nairobi for specialized treatment," Kerina told Xinhua by phone.

Independent sources, however, told Xinhua that the driver of the vehicle is believed to be in critical condition. No arrest was made. The militants also stole an AK 47 rifle and a pistol belonging to the police inspector.

It is believed that the explosive was set up on the road by al-Shabab terrorists operating in the area which is near to the Kenya-Somalia border.

Islamist militants have staged a string of attacks in Kenya, including the April 2, 2015 massacre at Garissa University that left 148 students dead and a 2013 assault on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall that killed 67.