Attack in Kenya Kills Civilian, Wounds Several Police Officers

January 13, 2018 3:50 PM
VOA News

At least one civilian was killed and several police officers were wounded Saturday in an attack on a convoy by suspected al-Shabab Islamists in eastern Kenya, the Interior Ministry said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said the attack occurred when a convoy of buses under police protection was traveling from Lamu County on the northern Kenyan coast near Somalia to Mombasa city in the south.

Njoka said "a gang of suspected al-Shabab terrorists" carried out the attack, which destroyed the two police escort vehicles. Regional police chief Larry Kieng said the attackers fired rocket launchers at the police vehicles, engulfing them in flames.

The area in which the attack took place has been hit frequently in recent years by al-Shabab militants, who are associated with al-Qaida, a Sunni Islamist group co-founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden.

The Kenyan government has been trying to stop the wave of attacks by al-Shabab fighters, who say they are seeking revenge for Kenya's deployment of troops to Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union force.

Al-Shabab is also fighting to oust the internationally supported Somali government as it regularly carries out attacks neighboring Kenya.

Al-Shabab's most deadly attack in Kenya occurred in April 2015, when gunmen raided a university in the town of Garissa and killed 148 people, mostly students.