Five police officers injured in Shabab ambush near Somali border

Friday, May 21st, 2021 18:51 |

Five Kenyan police officers were injured early Friday in a Shabab ambush in Mandera, a county near the Somali border, authorities said.

The police inflicted heavy casualties on the attackers and a major security operation to pursue them is ongoing, Police Deputy Inspector General Edward Mbugua said.

"The ambush, which took place at 6 a.m. in Banisa during routine border patrol, has unfortunately left five of our police officers injured," Mbugua said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

"They are currently receiving medical attention." He said swift police action has secured the area, assuring residents of sustained vigilant presence. Witnesses said an improvised explosive device planted by the attackers on the road hit a vehicle carrying at least 15 police officers.

Authorities said the attackers escaped toward the nearby Kenya-Somalia border. The incident came in the wake of reports that militants were marshaling bases in parts of Mandera and Lamu counties in preparation for attacks on Kenyan officials. On Tuesday, Shabab militants ambushed a Kenya Defense Forces convoy in the coastal Lamu region, killing three soldiers. Al-Shabab, seen as a major threat in areas along Kenya's border with Somalia, targets security personnel and establishments as well as commuter vehicles plying routes along the coastal regions.

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