Al-Shabaab raids Mandera, killing three officers in the latest Kenya attack
NAIROBI, Kenya – At least three policemen were killed by al-Shabaab militants on Friday in Mandera, following an IED explosion followed by a gun battle in Banisa, a few kilometers near the border between Kenya and Ethiopia.
Police reports show that the special officials specializing in dealing with terrorism ran over an IED near the center of Banisa before the militants hiding in the nearby bush opened fire on the officers.
A brief firefight ensued with officers succeeding in overpowering the militants, who took to the nearby bushes before fleeing the scene. Police are still pursuing the militants, according to Nairobi authorities.
Several other officers were injured after the unfortunate incident and they have since fled to Nairobi for treatment. Banisa is located several kilometers west of the city of Mandera, which borders Somalia.
This comes a few days after Al-Shabaab also attacked the Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] soldiers in Lamu, along the coast of Kenya. At the leader, three KDF officers died after the attack while others were critically injured.
Colonel Zipporah Kioko, a KDF spokesman, said the KDF was pursuing the attackers after receiving credible information from residents. Without mentioning the number of injured soldiers, she added that they responded well to the treatment at the Defense Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi.
“In support of the current efforts, residents of the Baure area have shared credible information about the identities of sympathizers and attackers. The injured staff who were evacuated are responding well to the treatment,” she said.
“Unfortunately, three soldiers were killed for their injuries. The soldiers paid the ultimate price while protecting the citizens of Kenya,” the spokesman added without revealing the number of attackers involved in the latest incident.
The KDF, she noted, will continue to work with other security agencies to restore peace in the dangerous coastal belt, which is prone to al-Shabaab attackers. Even if the group carries out such raids, it is still taking responsibility.
“KDF remains uninhibited and together with security groups with several agencies deployed during Operation Amani Boni, they remain focused and have decided to contribute to a lasting 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 Somalia-based militants. However, the group has not carried out a major attack in Kenya in almost two months, an indication that it has significantly slowed down.
The 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. Earlier this year, Mandera Governor Ali Roba claimed that the group controls at least 60 percent of the country’s land mass, a claim that the Kenyan government called “incorrect”.