4 June 2016

Kenya: Police Escape With Minor Injuries After Explosion

Several police officers sustained slight injuries after their vehicle ran over a landmine believed to have been planted by Al-Shabaab militants within Lafey sub-county, in Mandera.

Speaking to Sunday Nation on phone, Lafey OCPD Bosita Omukolongolo said the incident happened at 10 am when the police officers were on patrol.

He said the 17 officers were heading to Fino from Lafey in two vehicles when the front car ran over the devices planted in the middle of the road at Sheikh Barrow.

"One of the vehicle belongs to Lafey deputy county commissioner. The deputy county commissioner was not in the convoy because this was a security operation in the area," Mr Omukolongolo said.

He added: "The officers in the first vehicle suffered slight injuries and were treated at Fino health centre. They are in stable condition."

The OCPD further said the second vehicle, on noticing the incident 100 metres ahead, stopped then called for reinforcement from a nearby rapid deployment unit camp.

Mr Omukolongolo said the damaged vehicle can still be used.

Mandera County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia said there have been active security patrols in the area but its proximity to Somalia has remained a challenge to security officers.

"This zone is less than seven kilometres from Somalia making it easy for attackers to escape back. But we are doing our best," he said.

Meanwhile, the General Police Unit officers (GSU) on Friday night shot a man dead as he attempted to access their camp in Mandera town.

Mr Shisia said the man defied orders to stop forcing the officers who were manning the main entrance to shoot him.

"Nothing was found on him but we are in the process of identifying him through Border point one chief. We are yet to establish the motive of walking into the GSU camp at 10.45pm," he said.

The body was taken to Mandera County Referral Hospital mortuary awaiting identification.

The two incidents come barely a few days after Mandera Township MCA Feisal Abdinur claimed terror cells were regrouping and planning to carry out attacks in the town.

The county commissioner called on the locals to be more vigilant and cooperate with security agents during the Holy month of Ramadhan as reports indicate that Al-Shabaab is planning attacks.

"We want the Muslim society to enjoy their Ramadan. I call on everyone to cooperate with our security teams in dealing with any insecurity situation."


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