Hulugho, Kenya: At least five KDF personnel were Monday morning injured after their vehicle was hit by a landmine in Hulugho area, near Kenya/Somalia border.
Security officials in the area say the landmine was planted by Al-Shabaab militants.
North Eastern regional coordinator Saleh Mohamud said those injured had been rushed to hospital.
“Their vehicle ran over a landmine that we suspect had been planted there slightly injuring Kenya Defence Forces personnel who were patrolling the area,” he said.
He added that the officers were on patrol along the main border when the explosion happened.
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Military spokesman Col David Obonyo confirmed there was an incident that targeted their personnel in the area.
He said their APC stepped on the landmine planted on the road injuring the five.
“The vehicle had driven about five kilometers from their camp when the incident happened. Those injured are in hospital,” he said.
It came two days before the arrival of Pope Francis in Kenya. The pope is expected in Kenya for three days on Wednesday during which he will hold a public mass and meet local political and religious leaders.
The troops who are under the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) have captured several towns that were under the terror group as part of efforts to liberate the country.
In the process, dozens of suspected militants have been killed and injured. More than a dozen troops have also been killed in the operations.
KDF went to Somalia in October 2011. Kenya's incursion into southern Somalia started after the kidnapping of two Spanish women, who were working for MSF at the Dadaab refugee camp.
Two years later, the troops managed to take control of Kismayo port under Operation Sledge Hammer.
Initially a team of about 2000 troops had been engaged in the operation but the number doubled when Kenya joined UN’s AMISOM.
The Kenyan military says there is no set exit date for the operation, but the indicator of the mission's success would be a crippling of Al-Shabaab's capacity.