Two police officers killed, seven others injured in a fresh landmine attack in Mandera

The police land rover that was hit by a landmine along Lethi-Arabia road killing two police officers on the spot and injuring seven others on 3 September, 2023. [Ibrahim Adan Ali, Standard]

Two Quick Response Unit (QRU) officers were killed and seven others were injured on Sunday, September 3, after a vehicle they were travelling in hit a landmine along Lethi-Arabia road in Mandera County.

The two died after the land rover they were travelling in was hit by an explosive device believed to be an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

According to police reports seen by The Standard, those who sustained injuries were taken to Mandera County Referral Hospital while the critically injuried were airlifted to Nairobi for treatment.

"Rescue team is facilitating for both bodies to be airlifted to Nairobi alongside three officers who have suffered critical head injuries" read part of the police report.

The officers were among a contingent of security personnel dispatched to the area early Sunday morning following intelligence reports of Al-Shabaab insurgents' presence in the area.

"QRU land rover armoured vehicle had run over a suspected IED and all the officers on board were fatally injured. The officers were on routine patrol along Lethi-Arabia-Mandera road" said part of the report

Mandera has experienced several insecurity incidents since the beginning of the year.

In July 2023, another incident claimed the lives of three people when Wargadud police station was attacked.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA)  has since condemned the incidents and sent a message of condolences to the bereaved families.

"IPOA, in the strongest terms possible, condemns the actions of armed organised criminal groups that seek to threaten the peace and tranquillity enjoyed by Kenyans.IPOA assures all law enforcement officers are adequately cushioned while undertaking their mandates of securing the lives and property of Kenyans and residents in the country,” reads the statement.

“IPOA is an independent body that oversees the work of the internal affairs of the police to independently verify that the internal police system deals with complaints against officers fairly and effectively.”