Five Kenyan paramilitary police officers were killed and three others were seriously injured when their vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) near the Kenya-Somalia border early Wednesday.
Garissa County Commissioner Joshua Chepchieng said the 8:30 a.m. incident happened as the officers were on enroute to Liboi in Garissa County, eastern Kenya.
“It is true that we have lost our officers this morning in the unfortunate incident,” Chepchieng told Xinhua in Garissa.
He said the incident happened when the officers were carrying out normal border patrols aboard Landcruiser vehicle towards Liboi from their camp. Their vehicle is said to have rolled several times.
The deaths were the latest and came after a long lull from terror related incidents that have been experienced in the area at large.
Witnesses said the explosive badly damaged the vehicle killing the five. The three who survived were badly wounded. They were all from Harhar General Service Unit camp.
North Eastern Regional Coordinator Mohamud Saleh confirmed the incident and added that more personnel had been sent to the area to pursue the attackers.
“There was an IED that affected a police vehicle and we are still assessing the scene,” Saleh said.
Residents said there were indications of imminent attacks in the area after reporting to authorities of movements that indicated al-Shabab terror group was planning an attack.
The latest incident came after the police had issued a security alert over possible attacks in the country by the Somalia based terror group during the Ramadan season.
Improvised explosive devices are common in the northern and eastern Kenya targeting security officers and civilians especially after Kenyan soldiers crossed into southern Somalia in 2011 to pursue al-Shabab militants.