At least five paramilitary personnel were killed and three others injured on Wednesday when their vehicle ran over an explosive at Liboi, Garissa County.
The scene of the attack in Harhar area is less than two kilometers from the main Kenya-Somalia border.
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The General Service Unit officers were patrolling the border aboard a truck when it ran over the Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
Witnesses said the explosive killed the five and badly damaged the vehicle. The three who survived were badly wounded. They were all from Harhar GSU camp.
A police chopper was sent to the area to rescue those injured and fly the bodies to Nairobi.
Witnesses said the incident happened at about 10AM.
North Eastern regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh confirmed the incident and added 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,” he said without elaborating on the casualties.
The deaths were the latest and came after a long lull from terror related incidents that has been experienced in the area at large.
There were indications of imminent attacks in the area. Locals reported to authorities of movements that indicated Al-Shabaab terror group was planning an attack.
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“The indications were there because among others, elderly people had been moved from the area to Garissa and a number of youths had not returned to the area. Al-Shabaab militants were also sighted there,” said an official based in the area.
Police had issued a security alert over possible attacks in the country by the Somalia based terror group during the Ramadhan season.
Police spokesman Charles Owino, said security agencies had obtained credible intelligence suggesting that Al-Shabaab are planning to carry out attacks in various parts of the country during the holy month that begun May 15.
The Liboi incident was the first one since the beginning of the period.
He asked Kenyans to be extra vigilant especially in populated public places such as hotels, church, bus stages and schools.
“Though the capability of Al-Shabaab has been greatly downgraded over time, we have credible intelligence suggesting that the militia group is planning to carry out further attacks in the country,” said Owino.
“The group has in the past planned to carry out attacks during Ramadan especially along the Coastal and Eastern regions and in major towns across the country. We are therefore urging members of the public to remain on high alert and be extra vigilant,” he added.
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He said, Al-Shabaab and other terror groups such as Islamic State and AI-Qaeda have all issued ‘fatwas’ calling for increased attacks during the holy month of Ramadhan.
He assured Kenyans of security saying that they are closely monitoring activities across Kenya border with Somalia in order to thwart any attempted terror attack.
Owino said terror activities by the group had gone down due to concerted efforts by multi-agency security operations and support from the public.