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Sunday, December 11, 2011

KENYA TROOPS WOUNDED IN LAND MINE BETWEEN MANDERA AND WAJIR

Kenyan official: 9 troops wounded by land mine

Published: Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011 - 5:04 am
A local official says nine Kenyan troops were wounded when their convoy hit a land mine while they traveled between two towns in Kenya's north, near the border with Somalia. District commissioner Kennedy Nyaiyo says it was not yet clear who was responsible for Sunday's explosion as the group moved between Wajir and the border town of Mandera. The incident is the latest in a string of attacks against the military and other targets in Kenya since the government sent troops into Somalia in October.

The Kenyan government said the incursion was a response to kidnappings and other attacks in Kenyan territory that it blamed on the Somali militant group al-Shabab. Al-Shabab has been waging a war against the weak U.N-backed Somali government for years.

In Another incident, An Administration Police officer was killed in Mandera on Sunday afternoon.

The first incident which occurred about one kilometre from Mandera town involved an attack on Administration Police officers while the second in Wajir involved military officers. “The AP’s were patrolling in Bula Hawa when they were attacked, one died while his colleague is wounded,” a senior police officer said. “They were patrolling on foot and he died on the spot.” Police believe the explosion was caused by an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED). His colleague who was wounded was rushed to the Mandera district hospital where he was being treated for burns and other related injuries.
In the Wajir-Mandera incident, Separately, nine military officers sustained injuries in a suspected landmine attack that occurred in Wajir town. Police said: “The soldiers were travelling in a convoy of three vehicles when they were attacked.” They were headed to Mandera.


“A military vehicle (Hamvee) drove over an IED-Improvised Explosive Device in Wajir. The vehicle was heading to El Wak. A mobile phone suspected to have been used to detonate the explosive was recovered from the scene,” Emmanuel Chirchir, military spokesman said adding that: “Two soldiers suffered minor injuries, the vehicle was damaged.”


Police reports however, indicated that ten soldiers had suffered injured.


Kenyan security personnel patrolling the Somalia border have been hit with a series of explosion attacks since Kenya sent its troops to fight Al Shabaab inside Somalia, often killing or injuring officers. Security forces at the border points are grappling with threats posed by the insurgents who have been laying landmines mainly targeting police and soldiers patrolling the Somalia border.

Kenyan officials have blamed the hard-line Al Shabaab or their sympathisers for spate of recent shootings and bombings, although armed bandits also operate in the border areas.