At least four people have been killed after an improvised explosive device (IED) allegedly planted by militants struck their vehicle in a small Kenyan town near the border with Somalia, security sources say.
The Tuesday attack was carried out in the central eastern town of Liboi, which is located some 60 kilometers from Dadaab refugee camp, the world’s largest refugee camp, in eastern Kenya.
“They all died on the spot when their vehicle ran over the explosive device,” media outlets quoted a senior Liboi police officer as saying, adding, “Those killed are locals.”
Security sources said that militants of the al-Shabab Takfiri group were suspected of carrying out the deadly attack.
The latest deadly explosion came after gunmen suspected to be al-Shabab extremists killed an administrative chief and abducted two police reservists in an attack in Kenya’s north. The attack took place in Omar Jillo in Mandera county on Monday night.
The troubled region is among several towns in the area under dusk-to-dawn curfew over insecurity caused by the al-Qaeda-linked extremists.
The Somalia-based militant group has vowed revenge on Kenya for sending soldiers to Somalia to fight it.
Kenya says multiple cross-border attacks led to its decision to send troops to Somalia.
The al-Shabab militants, who once had control over many parts of Somalia, including the capital city Mogadishu, aims to topple the central government and push out the African Union mission to Somalia, known as AMISOM, which is made up of soldiers from Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda, Ethiopia, and other African countries.
AMISOM and Somali troops driven al-Shabab out of all major urban strongholds and ports, but the group still stages attacks on targets in smaller, more remote areas, posing a threat to peace.
Somalia’s armed forces are under growing pressure to take full responsibility for the security situation in the country as a multinational African Union force prepares to start withdrawing in 2018.
Al-Shabab has stepped up its deadly bombings in Mogadishu and elsewhere since new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed took office in February.
Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.
By Africafrique and agencies