, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 27 – A police officer was killed and four civilians severely wounded on Wednesday after an explosive device went off at the Kenya-Somali border.
North Eastern Provincial Commissioner Joseph Ole Serian said the incident occurred at 10.30 am near Mandera town.
“We have not been able to establish the nature of the device that exploded but we suspect it is an improvised bomb. A police officer has died and four other people wounded,” Ole Serian said on telephone from the scene of the blast.
Those wounded were being treated at the Mandera District Hospital but authorities hinted they would be transferred to Nairobi for specialised treatment.
The PC did not provide more details about the incident but a police officer based at the Mandera police station told Capital News that it occurred when the officer on patrol stopped to speak to residents.
“The officer was alone and as he spoke to some people, an explosive blew him up. We suspect it was planted there,” the officer speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the media said.
Heavily armed security forces have been patrolling the border to ensure Al Shabaab militants do not cross over to Kenya amid searing drought in Somalia.
Cases of insecurity along the border have greatly hampered food aid operations by international humanitarian agencies which have been trying to access drought stricken regions in the war torn country in latest weeks.
With hundreds of Somali refugees crossing the border in search of food in Kenya everyday, authorities said they have enhanced security patrols to undertake thorough vetting of the refugees.
The United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) said it had started airlifting food aid to Mogadishu for distribution to hunger stricken Somalis in areas controlled by Al Shabaab militants.
More than 4 million people, mainly women and children are facing starvation in what has been described as the worst crisis in the horn of Africa in 60 years.