A police vehicle in Garissa ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) on Tuesday, February 14, leading to the deaths of several police officers. According to reports, the explosive device blew up after the vehicle drove over it, resulting in the Land Cruiser overturning and the front cabin and engine being completely shattered. The exact number of officers in the vehicle was not immediately known at the time of the report. The officers were part of the Border Patrol Unit (BPU) and were heading to Garissa from the Abdi Suku camp in Daadab.
Daadab Deputy County Commissioner Kipkurui Siele confirmed the reports of the attack and stated that a second police vehicle in tow was stopped a few metres away from the scene. An emergency response team arrived on site to rescue any survivors, and investigations into the matter have been launched by the police. The detonated explosive created a big depression at the centre of the road.
This is the second attack in Garissa in as many months, following an incident on January 11 where three people died after their pick-up truck overran an IED in Hailey, Bura East constituency. It also comes a few days after police intercepted two suspected Al Shabaab militants who were planting IEDs along the Sedahgose-Amuma road in Fafi. Officers recovered one AK47 and assorted materials used by the militants during their targeted operation in Garissa County.
The Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki reiterated that the ministry is focused on eradicating terrorism in North Eastern Kenya and will work with the locals to achieve this. The attack is believed to be the work of the Al Shabaab, who have been responsible for a series of terrorist attacks in Kenya in the past. The Kenyan government has been working to counter these threats through various measures, including joint military operations with neighbouring countries and enhancing security measures within the country.
The attack on the police officers highlights the ongoing security challenges faced by the country and the need for continued efforts to address these threats. The government has also called on the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the authorities. The loss of life in the attack is a tragic reminder of the sacrifices made by security forces in their efforts to maintain peace and security in the region.