Kenya beefs up security at border as Al-Shabaab kills 5 police officers

MANDERA – Kenyan authorities have beefed up security along Somali border in Mandera County after Somali militants, Al-Shabaab killed five police officers on Tuesday evening.

Northeastern regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh said on Wednesday three police reservists and two Administration Police officers who were on patrol along Elwak-Kotulo road in Mandera died in the attack.

"We lost five security officers in the attack while on patrol on Elwak-Kotulo road but we are pursuing the attackers," Saleh said.

Two police reservists and two Administration Police officers died instantly while another police reservist died while being rushed to hospital.

Daniel Bundotich, Mandera South Deputy County Commissioner said the deceased were on normal patrol on the Elwak-Kotulo road and the attackers also burnt a police lorry while several officers were injured in the ambush.

Bundotich said the first attack targeted a group of Administration police officers who were on patrol where two officers and three reservists were killed.

A second contingent of paramilitary personnel that was responding to the first attack was also ambushed. The attackers escaped the scene soon after the incident. This is the latest such incident in a series that have happened in the recent past.

Saleh said more personnel had been sent to the area in efforts to repulse the attackers who locals claim had been sighted there in the past weeks.

The stretch which connects Mandera and Wajir and Garissa is notorious with such terrorist attacks. In November, two police vehicles were burnt to ashes in the same area, compelling police to stop escorting buses.

The buses have since moved to use the Marsabit-Moyale route, leaving many on the insecure stretch with no alternative.

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 in 2011.

The counties of the larger northeastern Kenya could also be a target as those fleeing from AMISOM aggression are said to have entered Kenya through the porous border with Somalia.