LAMU, Kenya, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) –At least six Kenyan police officers were killed on Tuesday and three others injured when the vehicle they were traveling in ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in the coastal region of Lamu.
A senior local police officer who confirmed the incident said two other officers are still missing after the incident in Mangai area in Lamu County.
“Six officers were killed and three others injured when their vehicle drove an IED which was planted along the Hindi-Kiunga road in Lamu,” a senior police officer who sought anonymity said by telephone.
Security officers have launched massive search for the missing colleagues who were in the truck which was ferrying some 15 officers from the Rapid Deployment Unit.
“The injured officers suffered from multiple injuries and have been rushed to the hospital,” the officer said. He said the incident took place in an area believed to be dangerous since it’s infiltrated by Islamist militants from Somalia who have been roaming in the nearby vast Boni forest.
The latest incident comes barely two weeks after Al-Shabaab fighters attacked a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) camp in Elade in southern Somalia, killing some 100 soldiers in the worst attack since the troops crossed into the Horn of Africa nation in 2011.
The terror incident comes at a time when the security operation to flush out Al-Shabaab militants from Boni Forest in Lamu County has been extended to cover four key areas: Pandanguo, Bothei, Pangani and Witu.
Recently police released the names and photos of five suspected Al-Shabaab operatives who might be plotting terrorist attacks in the coastal. They include one female, a possible suicide bomber, by the name of Shamim Wanjiru Hussein.
The coastal city has witnessed relative calm since last June when the police foiled attack at military base in the coastal town of Lamu where Al-Shabaab key leaders were killed including British jihadist Thomas Evans.
Several Al-Shabaab militants have recently been killed by KDF soldiers in Somalia by taking over major towns that were under the control.