Five police officers were killed on Thursday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in northeastern Kenya, a day after two separate IEDs killed eight officers, a regional security official said.The Kenya Red Cross said the attack occurred between Malelei and Kulan in Garissa county. The Shabaab, a Somali-led Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group, claimed the attack – as well as the previous two – in a statement carried by the SITE Intelligence Group.
“The five police officers killed in the attack were headed to boost the ongoing operation in Liboi,” said North Eastern regional coordinator Mohamud Ali Saleh referring to a town on the border with Somalia. On Wednesday eight officers were killed in two separate incidents in Mandera and Garissa counties, both in Kenya’s restive northeast close to the border with Somalia. The spate of bombings comes after Kenyan police warned of increased Islamist activity in the area.
Since 2007 the Shabaab has fought to overthrow successive internationally-backed governments in Somalia but only began attacking Kenya in 2011 after Nairobi ordered its troops into Somalia to fight the militants. Kenyan soldiers are now part of a 22,000-strong African Union mission fighting in Somalia.
In 2013 Shabaab gunmen raided a shopping mall in the capital Nairobi killing 67 people, and in 2015 a similar attack on a university in Garissa left 148 dead.