, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 28 – A major security operation is underway in Mandera County following a string of terror attacks that left four people killed since last week, including two police officers.
The latest attack targeting police officers occurred on Sunday in a similar area to an ambush last Monday, when Al Shabaab gunmen opened fire on a bus, killing two people at Elwak not far from the porous Somalia border.
“Two police officers killed and two others injured in an ambush along Lafey-Elwak road, Mandera County,” the Kenya Red Cross said of the Sunday attack.
The security operation was being conducted by a combined ream of the military and police officers deployed to the region to track the attackers said to be hiding at the border with Somalia.
“A major security operation is underway in the region to track down the attackers and to restore peace in the region,” a senior police officer said.
Mandera Governor Ali Roba says residents are worried of the increased attacks that seem to target areas that have had no incident for a long time.
“Within the last three weeks we have had more than seven terror incidents happening in Mandera, this raises a lot concern because of the increased movements of terror cells in the region and soon we will be talking of a spread to other areas,” he told a news conference in Nairobi on Sunday.
Earlier this week, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet warned of the risk of fresh attacks by Al Shabaab insurgents who have split into rival factions inside Kenya, with some shifting allegiance from Al-Qaeda to the Islamic State.
Those now loyal to IS operate in the Mandera region, while the Al-Qaeda force is based in the southeastern Boni Forest district, police said.
The attack on Sunday is in a similar area to an ambush last Monday, when Al Shabaab gunmen opened fire on a bus, killing two people at Elwak.
On Saturday, police said a suspected Al Shabaab fighter was killed nearby when a homemade roadside bomb he was planting exploded.