Four killed in border towns’ day of blasts

What you need to know:

  • Four explosions, one in Mandera and two in Garissa, rock border regions, leaving at least eight injured as military continues campaign against Al-Shabaab

Four people were killed and at least eight injured in separate attacks in Kenya's North Eastern province on Thursday.

Three died on the spot in two near-simultaneous grenade attacks in Garissa Town on Thursday evening.

The first explosion took place on Ngamia Road near Garissa Catholic Church, some 3km from the town centre, while the other took place at Chege’s Café within the town.

Residents said they first heard three gunshots before the explosions.

Police said all security agents have been mobilised and a curfew imposed in the town.

In Mandera, suspected Al-Shabaab militants blew up a Kenya military truck and opened fire on troops in the border town.

In what is perceived as a revenge attack, the militants used an improvised bomb against the soldiers, who were on patrol.

A soldier was killed and three others injured, according to the Department of Defence, bringing to nine the number of soldiers killed in Operation Linda Nchi. Five of those died in a helicopter accident at the border town of Liboi.

Reports from witnesses said Kenyan troops were shot at from two directions after the explosion at Mlima Fisi. They suffered leg injuries and severe burns, witnesses said.

The attackers reportedly fled into the bush after the troops returned fire.

Sophisticated improvised explosive devices have been widely used against allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the one used in the attack appeared to be a landmine.

At the front, Kenyan forces attacked Al-Shabaab camps in air and ground assaults, Department of Defence spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir said on Thursday.

The Kenya Air Force carried out two airstrikes on two Al-Shabaab training camps on Wednesday. Maj Chirchir said post-attack assessment confirmed seven militants were killed and weapons recovered.

The third attack on another Al-Shabaab training camp by Transitional Federal Government and Kenyan ground troops killed three militants, the Army said.

Major Chirchir said Kenyan and TFG soldiers attacked an Al-Shabaab training camp in the town of Hawina between Dobley and Tabda.

During Thursday’s engagement, “three Al-Shabaab militants were killed and two AK47 rifles captured. Several Al-Shabaab militias escaped with injuries,” he said.

On the Moyale attack, Major Chirchir said Kenyan troops on board a service truck drove over a planted improvised explosive device while on patrol duties in the general area of Mlima Fisi in Mandera.

Five soldiers were seriously injured and were airlifted to Garissa for treatment. One soldier died.