NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 18 – Police announced on Wednesday they were holding three suspects over Monday night’s killing of a police officer in Mandera.
The suspects were arrested on Tuesday and police said they were still interrogating them to establish if they were involved in the attack that left another officer with injuries.
“We have reason to believe they were part of the attackers,” Philip Tuimur, the North Eastern Provincial police chief said.
The suspects were found with more than 50 bullets.
Police believe the suspects were escaping towards the Somalia border when they were arrested, not far away from the scene where the attack happened. The incident occurred when a gang of 10 armed men believed to be members of the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab sprayed a police vehicle with bullets.
A police officer was killed on the spot while his colleague was seriously wounded in the attack. The wounded officer is being treated at a Nairobi hospital, according to the police.
Last week, two police officers were shot and seriously wounded in Mandera in another attack blamed on Al Shabaab militiamen.
The officers who were in a group of three were heading back to Garissa when the militants attacked them in Arabia area, a few kilometres from the border with Somalia.
Those in the vehicle included the area deputy police Chief John Mbaluka, his driver and another officer.
Mbaluka who escaped unhurt in the attack said they engaged the gunmen in a shootout and were lucky to have survived.
The driver and the other officer are the ones who were wounded in the attack. One of the officers was shot in the ribs while his colleague sustained injuries on both hands.
Cases of attacks targeted on security forces have been on the increase at the border towns since Kenya sent its troops to Somalia to fight Al Shabaab militants.
The militants have also targeted social places and churches, often opening fire and hurling grenades at civilians.