Kenyan Soldiers Lose Lives in a Roadside Explosion in Lamu County
Kenyan Soldiers Killed in Roadside Blast in Lamu County
In a rare public statement, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) confirmed that one of its vehicles was targeted by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack in Lamu county on Sunday. The incident had been widely reported on social media before the official confirmation.
The KDF stated that an unspecified number of soldiers were injured in the IED explosion and were subsequently airlifted to Manda Bay Hospital, which is managed by the US Africa Command and has previously been targeted by Al-Shabaab raids.
The KDF issued a plea for locals to provide information to the multi-agency security teams operating in Lamu County. The area has been a frequent target for Al-Shabaab attacks in recent months. The KDF suspects that the criminals responsible for these attacks may be interacting with and hiding amongst the local population.
In a press release, the KDF condemned the actions of “criminals who disrupt movement and sabotage socio-economic activities” and urged the community to cooperate with security agencies to identify and apprehend these individuals.
Although there are unconfirmed reports suggesting that 10 KDF soldiers may have been killed, the official statement neither confirms nor denies this. Over the past months, several soldiers have lost their lives to IED attacks in Lamu, Wajir, Mandera, and Garissa counties, leading to heightened security concerns in Kenya.
During an interview on a local media show, Defense Minister Aden Duale accused locals of harboring criminals who infiltrate from Somalia. He emphasized that without the support and intelligence-sharing from the community, it will be challenging for the KDF to effectively combat the group. Duale also linked the attacks to the dense Boni Forest.
A few years ago, the KDF initiated Operation Amani Boni with the aim of addressing security challenges in the area. However, the mission is yet to accomplish its objectives, even after more than five years. The militants have been exploiting the Boni Forest as a sanctuary to launch attacks against security forces, government officials, and innocent civilians.