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13 feared dead after vehicle ran over IED in Mandera

 

Wreckage of the matatu and its passengers' belongings. [Courtesy]

About thirteen people are feared dead in Arabia, Mandera County, after a minibus ran over an improvised .landmine, setting off an explosion.

County authorities have told The Standard that the vehicle was headed to Mandera town.

Eyewitnesses at the scene say the incident took place today at around 6am.

"Everything moved so fast, we heard a bhang and when we got here we saw smoke all over," Mohammed Abdi said.

Over the weekend, the US Embassy issued a terror alert in Kenya, urging vigilance in public places hours.

That was hours after the government had announced heightened security to forestall possible terror threats.

Prior to that, the Dutch, German, French and UK consulates in the country issued similar warnings on Thursday, January 27. 

“There is the potential for increased crime and acts of violent extremism in Kenya this time of year. The US Embassy reminds the public of the continued need for sustained vigilance in public locations such as shopping malls, hotels, airports, clubs, restaurants, transportation hubs, schools, places of worship and other areas frequented by tourists,” the Embassy said on its official website on Friday, January 28.

“Public events, such as demonstrations and celebratory gatherings, are also at a higher risk for violence,” said the American consulate.

To reduce the risk of exposure, the US advised its citizens to “exercise vigilance at events, places of worship, and locations with large crowds; review personal security plans and monitor local media for updates”.

After the UK, Dutch, German and French embassies in Kenya issued terror alerts on Thursday, Kenya’s National Police Service on Friday said it had heightened security surveillance countrywide.