[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): Explosion hits Kenyan security forces vehicle

[Dehai-WN] (Reuters): Explosion hits Kenyan security forces vehicle

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 12:53:50 +0200

Explosion hits Kenyan security forces vehicle

Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:59pm GMT

* Two grenade attacks in Nairobi on Monday kill 1, wound 29

* Soldier dies after clash with al Shabaab on Thursday

* Kenyan forces entered Somalia to fight al Shabaab 13 days ago (Updates
with police statement)

By Noor Ali

ISIOLO, Kenya, Oct 28 (Reuters) - A Kenyan security forces vehicle was
attacked with a makeshift bomb on Friday, wounding four, a day after the
first serious clash between Kenyan soldiers and Somali militants inside the
neighbouring nation, police said.

The attack is the fourth on Kenyan soil this week. Kenya sent soldiers and
heavy weapons into Somalia 13 days ago to crush al Shabaab, the al
Qaeda-linked militant group Nairobi blames for a string of kidnappings and
border incursions.

"Evidence of an improvised explosive device has been found ... We are
treating the incident as a deliberate criminal act," police spokesman Eric
Kiraithe said in a statement.

He said the vehicle was part of a convoy moving personnel to Nairobi from
Liboi town on the border with Somalia. The attack took place 7 km from
Garrissa town.

"Two persons were arrested near the scene of the explosion and are still in
police custody undergoing interrogation," Kiraithe said in the statement.

The Kenya Red Cross said the vehicle hit was in a convoy of four.

"The vehicle in which the officers were travelling was extensively damaged
and partly burned," a police source in the provincial headquarters, who
declined to be named, told Reuters.

Multiple sources told Reuters they were from the paramilitary General
Service Unit (GSU), which comes under the umbrella of the police.

"Four police officers were injured when the vehicle lost control due to the
impact of the explosion," Kiraithe said.


Two medical sources at the Garissa Provincial General Hospital, where the
injured were taken initially, earlier said two of the GSU officers were in
critical condition and a third had been admitted for treatment.

"We have received three patients who have been injured. Two are in a serious
condition with burns and fractures," said Musa Mohamed, a medical
superintendent at the Garissa hospital.

Kiraithe said the four injured were later evacuated to Nairobi for

The attack came a day after al Shabaab gunmen ambushed Kenyan soldiers
inside Somalia in the first serious clash since the east African country
sent its troops across the border.

Two Kenyan soldiers were injured in the clash and one died on Friday, local
media and military sources said, marking the first Kenyan battlefield
casualty. The military did not respond to requests for confirmation of the

Five soldiers were killed when a helicopter crashed due to mechanical
failure shortly after Kenya deployed its troops over the border.

Unknown gunmen also attacked a vehicle in the far north of Kenya, near the
Somali border, on Wednesday, killing four government employees and wounding
two guards.

On Monday, the capital Nairobi was hit by two separate grenade attacks on a
bar and a bus terminus. One person was killed and 29 were wounded.

A Kenyan man who pleaded guilty to the grenade attack on the bus station and
membership of al Shabaab was sentenced on Friday to life in prison by a
Nairobi court.

Elgiva Bwire Oliacha, also known as Mohamed Seif, told reporters he had no
regrets after a magistrate read out the life sentence for the grenade

Earlier in the same court, prosecutors charged two more suspects with the
same crimes as Oliacha. Omar Muchiri Athuman and Stephen Macharia Mwangi
denied the charges and will appear in court again on Nov. 4. (Additional
reporting by Humphrey Malalo and Duncan Miriri in Nairobi; Writing by David
Clarke; Editing by)

C Thomson Reuters 2011 All rights reserved


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