Al-Shabaab raids Mandera, kills three officers in latest Kenya attack


NAIROBI, Kenya - At least three police officers were killed by Al-Shabaab militants on Friday in Mandera, following an IED explosion which was followed by a gunfight in Banisa, few kilometers near the Kenya-Ethiopia border.

Police reports indicate that the special officers who are specialized in dealing with terrorism ran over an IED near Banisa center before the militants who were hiding in the nearby bush opened fire against the officers.

A brief gunfight ensued with officers managing to overwhelm the militants, who took to the nearby bushes before escaping from the scene. Police officers are still pursuing the militants according to authorities in Nairobi.

Several other officers were injured following the unfortunate incident and they have since been airlifted to Nairobi for treatment. Banisa is several kilometers West of Mandera town which borders Somalia.

This comes a few days after Al-Shabaab also attacked Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] soldiers in Lamu, along Kenya's coastal strip. At leader three KDF officers died following the attack while others were critically injured.

Col. Zipporah Kioko, who is KDF spokesperson, said KDF is pursuing attackers having gotten credible information from residents. Without mentioning the number of injured soldiers, she added that they were responding well to treatment at Defense Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi.

"In support of current efforts, Baure area residents have shared credible information on the identities of sympathizers and attackers. The wounded personnel who were evacuated are responding well to treatment," she said.

"Regrettably, three soldiers succumbed to their injuries. The soldiers paid the ultimate price while protecting the citizens of Kenya," added the spokesperson, without disclosing the number of the attackers involved in the latest incident.

KDF, she noted, will continue working with other security agencies to restore peace in the perilous coastal belt, which is prone to Al-Shabaab attackers. Although the group carries such raids, it's yet to take responsibility.

"KDF remains unbowed and together with multi-agency security teams deployed under Operation Amani Boni, remains focused and has the resolve to help bring sustainable peace in the area," she said.

There is a heavy presence of KDF in Lamu, Garissa, Mandera, and Wajir counties due to persistent attackers by the Somalia-based militants. However, the group has not carried any major attack in Kenya for almost two months, an indication that it has been significantly subdued.

KDF has close to 3,500 soldiers working under the African Union Mission Forces in Somalia [AMISOM] and has often been a soft target for the group. Early this year, Mandera Governor Ali Roba claimed the group controls at least 60 percent of the county's landmass, a claim which the government of Kenya termed as "inaccurate".


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