NAIROBI, Kenya – Police officers from the multi-agency team guarding sections of north-eastern Kenya on Monday repelled a potential devastating attack, a senior official confirmed, amid resurgent Al-Shabaab raids in the region.
Activists had planted a homemade bomb along the Bura-East-Garissa Lappset road in Garissa county, which almost detonated the police vehicle, said northeast regional coordinator Nicodemus Ndalana, which caused a relentless shooting.
For several hours, he added, relentless Special Forces police hired the militants, who were then restrained before fleeing to nearby bushes along the road.
“We learned that the alleged activists were there and that our police were on patrol. After they [militants] noticed that the vehicle had missed the IED they had planted, they started shooting at the police, “said the officer.
Although the number of activists could not be established, a senior officer said AxadleTM that they are estimated between 10 and 15. It is not known how they managed to cross neighboring Somalia.
The police came from Bura East Police Station, which is one of the posts located inside the porous border between Kenya and Somalia. The Kenyan government recently closed the border as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the authorities, the right rear tire of the police Toyota Land Cruiser was punctured by an enemy bullet. The body of the vehicle also had five bullet holes, said Ndalana, adding that no casualties had been reported.
The northern border district region is subject to numerous attacks by Al-Shabaab, a decision which informed the intensive deployment of the security forces by the police and the Kenyan Defense Forces by the government.
This year alone, Somali-based activists have carried out raids in the region 20 times, the highest number recorded in the same period in previous years, according to details filed by the Ministry of the Interior and Coordination .
Activists over the weekend attempted to search the Khorof Kharar police station in neighboring Wajir County in an attack that was repelled by forces. A Safaricom telecommunication mask was destroyed by activists, officials said.
This, Thomas Ngeywa, said the police commander of Wajir, forced the KDF team to launch a series of air strikes along the border, targeting the militants. The KDF team has not yet published a statement on the number of victims.
Usually, activists target security forces and non-locals, a move that has forced the government to evacuate teachers from other parts of Kenya. Currently, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera counties face an insufficient number of education professionals.
There is also a confidential report that says the KDF team is currently looking for local agents from the three counties who would help Somali-based activists manage a tax extortion targeting civilians in the region due to the decrease financial fortunes in Somalia.
Although the group remains considerably degraded, it can, however, carry out sporadic attacks of small to large scale in Somalia and beyond the border.
In recent months, the Al-Shabaab has suffered numerous setbacks as a result of endless ground fighting and air strikes in the war-torn nation.