In a suspected attack by the Somalia-based rebel group al-Shabab, eight Kenyan police officers were killed when their vehicle was destroyed by an improvised explosive device, according to authorities. The incident occurred in Garissa county, located in eastern Kenya near the border with Somalia. Al-Shabab has been engaged in a violent rebellion against the fragile government in Mogadishu for over 15 years.
Al-Shabab Attack Kenyan Police officers
John Otieno, the North Eastern Regional Commissioner, confirmed the loss of the eight police officers in the attack, attributing it to targeting of security forces and passenger vehicles by the Somalia-based terror group. This incident follows closely after Ethiopia reported foiling a suicide attack by the same group in the border town of Dollo.
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Al-Shabab, known to have affiliations with al-Qaeda, has been conducting an armed insurgency against Somalia’s central government for approximately 15 years. Kenya initially deployed troops to Somalia in 2011 to combat the group and has since been a significant contributor to the African Union (AU) military operation against al-Shabab.
Despite these efforts, Kenya has faced numerous retaliatory assaults, including the tragic Westgate Mall siege in Nairobi in 2013, which claimed 67 lives, and the attack on Garissa University in 2015, resulting in the deaths of 148 individuals.
Within Somalia, the terror group continues to carry out deadly attacks despite a major offensive launched by pro-government forces, supported by the AU force known as ATMIS, in August of the previous year. ATMIS, comprising 22,000 troops, has been assisting Somalia’s federal government in its fight against al-Shabab since 2022 when it replaced the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).