Policemen unhurt in Mandera explosion

February 2, 2012 1:33 pm
Map of Mandera/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – Four police officers escaped death narrowly in Mandera on Thursday morning after their vehicle ran over an explosive device.

“There has been an explosion, but no one was injured,” a senior police officer said.

Police believe the explosion was caused by an improvised bomb.

The area where the explosion occurred remained sealed for the better part of Thursday as police officers collected vital clues in their investigation.

North Eastern Provincial Police chief Leo Nyongesa said officers had intensified patrols in the area.

The region was recently hit by massive explosions believed to be perpetrated by Al Shabaab militants.

In the last quarter of last year, at least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded in separate explosions reported in Mandera.

In one of the incidents, six people were killed on October 21 when a bus they were travelling in was blown up by a grenade launched by people believed to have links with Al Shabaab militiamen.

Four people, including a police officer and a teacher were also killed in October while transporting examination materials.

On November 24, a soldier was killed and others wounded in a landmine attack on their vehicle in the border town. Barely two weeks later on December 12, an Administration Police officer was killed in another landmine attack.

Police blamed all the incidents on the notorious Al Shabaab militiamen who have vowed reprisal attacks to protest a military crackdown on their members by the Kenyan military in Somalia.

Kenyan Defence Forces crossed the border into Somalia in mid October after notorious kidnappings of both locals and foreigners.

The militiamen had been blamed for the abduction of two foreign women from Lamu Island, including Frenchwoman Marie Dedieu who died while in captivity in Somalia.

They had also kidnapped two foreign aid workers from Dadaab refugee camp late last year before another kidnapping of a District Officer and an immigration officer from an Administration camp in Wajir.

The two public officials are still being held in Somalia.


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