At least eight Kenya Defence Forces have been killed and two injured in a suspected Al-Shabaab attack on Kenya-Somalia border, near the Somali town of Dobley.
The soldiers died on Sunday evening after their vehicle, a Toyota Landcruiser, ran over an improvised explosive device (IED).
The Department of Defence is yet to issue a statement on the attack but an assessment report seen by the Nation shows the soldiers died as they returned to their camp from Dadaab.
“Today on 06 May 18 at about 1600 hours, a Platoon PTL of QRF convoy returning to Dobley through Dagalema route from Dadaab for contactor vehicles escort duties encountered an IED between Dobley and Dagalema which completely destroyed a landcruiser killing 8 and injuring 2,” the report says.
“The casualties have since been airlifted to Wajir.”
The report warns of more Al-Shabaab-linked attacks in other parts of Kenyan in the coming days.
“The lull witnessed in the recent past points to AS (Al-Shabaab) planning phase to deploy IED in the upcoming Ramadhan period,” it says.
“Based on the past experience, AS (Al-Shabaab) deploy IEDs in the theatre by consignments and it’s very likely that similar consignments have been deployed…”
It calls for extra vigilance on the part of security agencies, especially those patrolling the border with Somalia.
Al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based and Al-Qaeda-linked rag-tag militia, declared war on Kenya when Nairobi deployed forces to help stabilise the Horn of Africa nation in 2011.
While they gave up on field combat, the terrorists have been launching sporadic attacks on KDF and African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) convoys and camps.
Kenya first deployed soldiers in Somalia in October 2011 in Operation Linda Nchi before they were amalgamated into Amisom the following year.
The Al-Qaeda affiliate at times has retaliated by targeting civilians in Kenya, causing death and injuries.
The worst attacks were the raid at Garissa University in which 147 people died— including students and security officers and the death of 71 shoppers at Westgate mall.
Al-Shabaab has over the years attracted foreign fighters especially after it merged with Al-Qaeda.
Soldiers at the scene of the attack near the Somali town of Dobley. PHOTO | COURTESY
The group was pushed out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 — and subsequently other towns and cities — by Amisom forces.
But the Islamists still hold sway in large parts of the countryside and launch regular gun and bomb attacks on government, military and civilian targets in Mogadishu.