Eight police personnel killed in twin roadside bomb attacks in Kenya
Five police officers were killed Wednesday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in northeastern Kenya, a local governor said, just hours after a similar blast claimed three police lives.
The officers were travelling in a convoy with Mandera county governor Ali Roba between the towns of Arabia and Fino near the Somali border when one of the vehicles hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
"Unfortunately, I lost five of my security officers including my personal bodyguard at an attack on my convoy," Roba wrote on his Facebook page, saying that he was not injured in the blast.
Earlier on Wednesday a vehicle carrying three police officers was driving towards the regional town of Garissa further south when it struck a similar device close to the Liboi border post.
"They all died on the spot after their vehicle hit an Improvised Explosive Device," said a regional police officer, on condition of anonymity.
Police spokesman George Kinoti confirmed the earlier incident, saying: "There was an attack this morning and we lost officers."
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either bombing but Kenya's eastern border with Somalia is notoriously restive and prone to attacks staged by Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab militants.
The deadly blasts came a day after police warned of increased Islamist activity in the area.
Islamic militants "are dispatching operatives into parts of northeastern region to lay IEDs along routes used by our security patrols in efforts to frustrate our security operations at the border areas," the police statement said.
The Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu but began attacking Kenya in 2011 after Nairobi ordered its troops into Somalia to fight the militants.