Kenyan soldier dies, 11 wounded in Mandera blast

November 24, 2011 7:50 am


Kenyan forces on patrol in Liboi/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – One of the eleven soldiers wounded during Thursday morning’s landmine explosion at the border town of Mandera has succumbed to his injuries.

Military Spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir said five of the officers were admitted to the Garissa district hospital where they were undergoing treatment.

“Following this incident, five Kenyan defence Soldiers were seriously injured and have been airlifted to Garissa for treatment. One of the injured has succumbed to his injuries,” Chirchir said in a statement. The rest were treated and discharged.

Chirchir said the soldiers were on board a service truck when it drove over a planted Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while on patrol duties in the general area of Mlima Fisi within Mandera.

Police believe the explosive device was planted by Al Shabaab militants who have lately targeted security forces in Northern Kenya.

“We suspect this is the work of Al Shabaab militants. They are posing a serious security threat in this region,” a senior police officer in North Eastern Kenya said.

On Tuesday night, two Kenyan police officers were wounded in Liboi when gunmen believed to be Al Shabaab sympathisers opened fire at them, the latest in a string of attacks targeting security forces in Northern Kenya.

Those wounded in that assault were airlifted to Nairobi on Wednesday afternoon and are admitted to a city hospital.

The officers were attacked at the town of Abdi-Sugo which is within Liboi, a border town at the Kenya-Somalia border.

“They were returning back to their camp when they were attacked,” officers said at the time, and referred us to Police headquarters in Nairobi for any further information.

A manhunt for the gunmen was underway but police said no suspect had been arrested.

Since Kenya sent its troops to pursue Al Shabaab militants in Somalia, security agents have suffered numerous attacks including landmines and grenades in Mandera and parts of Dadaab refugee camp.

Last week, two refugees were arrested following an attack on a police car which left two guards wounded. The November 16 incident occurred at Dadaab refugee camp.

Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said at the time that the two were arrested soon after the explosion which occurred on the Dadaab-Hagadera road.

The wounded guards were among police officers in a convoy escorting aid workers from the refugee camp when the police vehicle was hit.

Earlier this month, a UN convoy was forced to cancel a trip after police discovered a landmine on the side of the same road where the incident occurred.


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