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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Twelve Kenya police officers killed
during an attack near Wajir town

WAJIR (Xinhua) -- At least 12 Kenyan police officers were on Saturday killed while another escaped with serious injuries after a vehicle they were traveling in was hit by improvised explosive device (IED) in Wajir county along the border with Somalia.

A senior Wajir police officer confirmed the mid-morning incident by suspected al-Shabab militants believed to have crossed over from neighboring Somalia.

The incident took place between Riba and Konton villages in Wajir east.

"A team of 13 administration police officers were attacked with IED between Riba and Konton and only one survived with serious injuries subject to confirmation of the number of death toll," said the police officer who declined to be identified.

The security officer said the administration police officers were allegedly conducting security surveillance along Kenya-Somalia border when the incident happened, two days after the militants stormed a local center and abducted three police reservists in the same location.

Witnesses said the police officers were killed when their vehicle ran over the landmine and those who survived were pursued and shot dead.

A police chopper has been sent to pick the only survivor, he added.

Meanwhile, the al-Qaida allied terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack in northeastern Kenya, saying their fighters seized the Konton village in the outskirts of Wajir town.

In a statement posted on its affiliated media outlets, the militants said the heavily armed fighters also took hostage of several Kenyan police officers and confiscated two motorbikes as well as military equipment.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Kenyan police pursue al-Shabab after abducting three in Kenyan border

WAJIR (Xinhua) -- Kenyan security forces are pursuing al-Shabab militants who abducted three national police reservists after storming a local center in Wajir county along the Somalia border, officials said on Saturday.

A senior police officer said the heavily armed militants believed to have crossed from Somalia on Thursday evening stormed Konton center in all directions targeting the police reservists and escaped with a motorbike and rickshaw (tuk-tuk) widely used for urban transport.

"Al-Shabab stormed Konton center in Wajir east in all direction targeting national police reservists in the center at around 4:30pm on Thursday.

"The police reservists fought the al-Shabab who were many in numbers while locals were fleeing the town," said the police who declined to be named.

"The police reservists after running out with ammunition of two magazines ran away.

"Al-Shabab kidnapped three police reservists and took with them a motorbike and a tuk-tuk belonging to area chief’s brother," he added.

He said security operation to rescue the kidnapped police reservists and recover the stolen motorbike and a rickshaw is underway.

The attack happened despite heightened security around the country with security agencies in an unprecedented state of alert.

The attack came two days after Kenya indefinitely closed its border with Somalia in the coastal Lamu region.

The decision was reached as security operations in the area intensified.

Border villages and residents have also been banned from cross-border trade.

Lamu County Police Commander Muchangi Kioi said the border which was closed on Tuesday will only remain open to security officers.

Kenya’s northeastern region has borne the brunt of grenade and gun attacks in the last several years since Kenya took its troops to Somalia to fight the al-Shabab militia group.

Many people, majority of them non locals have as a result lost their lives with others left with permanent injuries.
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UPDATES:

United Nations condemn bombing attacks in Somalia and Kenya after death of 21

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The United Nations mission in Somalia on Sunday condemned bombing attacks in Mogadishu and in northeastern Kenya that killed at least 21 people and injured more than 20 others on Saturday.

No political agenda can be served by acts of terrorism, the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia said after the attacks, both claimed by al-Shabab terror group.

Nine people died in two car bomb blasts in Somalia, and 12 Kenyan policemen were killed when a vehicle they were traveling in ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Wajir County, along the Kenya-Somalia border.

"UN Somalia strongly condemns yesterday’s attacks in Mogadishu and northeastern Kenya by al-Shabab," it said in a tweet on Sunday.

Somali police commander Bashir Abdi Mohamed said on Saturday that nine people were killed and 25 others injured in the first car bomb attack at Sayidka junction.

The second car bomb exploded near KM4 junction and resulted in the death of the bomber, Mohamed said, adding that security forces arrested an accomplice, who was injured.

In the northeastern Kenya IED attack, one police officer sustained serious injuries.

The police officers were on patrol between Khorof-harar and Konton in Wajir county when their vehicle ran over the IED, Police Inspector General Hilary Mutyambai said.

Both Mogadishu and Wajir attacks were claimed by al-Shabab, who on Thursday abducted three Kenyan police reservists from the same area in Wajir region.
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Six killed and 16 injured in car bombing in Somalia capital city Mogadishu

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- At least six people were killed and 16 others injured in bomb blasts in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday, police and medical sources said.

A police officer who declined to be named told Xinhua that a vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) went off at a checkpoint in Sayidka near the parliament building.

"The police suspected the car and ordered the driver to park it but he defied and drove off, then the car detonated causing the death of six people," the officer said.

Zakia Hussein, deputy police commander had earlier said the security forces intercepted a second VBIED which exploded while the driver was being questioned at K4 junction, leaving no casualties.

Abdulkadir Abdurrahman, director of Amin ambulance, free ambulance service in Mogadishu said they had carried 16 injured people from the scene.

Witnesses said the blasts were huge and caused panic among the residents.

"We heard a loud explosion as we were passing at KM4 junction and we heard gun fire, but we don’t have further details," Farah Elmi, a witness told Xinhua.

The blasts come as the police tightened security of the capital blocking the main roads of the city to ward off possible attacks by the militants.

Al-Qaida allied group al-Shabab which fights to overthrow the central government claimed the responsibility for the latest bombings.

Somali National Army (SNA) backed by African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) have driven al-Shabab militants out of Mogadishu, but the terror group is still capable of conducting attacks, targeting government installations, hotels, restaurants and public places.
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Somalia police arrest suspect in Mogadishu car bombing

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somalia police confirmed the arrest of a suspect following a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack in Mogadishu on Saturday.

Zakia Hussein, deputy police commander confirmed that no one was injured in the attack.

The VBIED went off near the security checkpoint at KM4 junction.

"The driver of the VBIED has been apprehended and there were no casualties resulting from the blast," Hussein said in a statement.

She said another separate VBIED went off near Sayid Junction, and promised to provide more details concerning the attack, the latest in the restive capital, Mogadishu.

No group has claimed responsibility for the two latest attacks in Mogadishu but extremist group, al-Shabab which is fighting to overthrow the government, usually stages such deadly attacks in the Horn of Africa nation.

The move comes while Mogadishu is on high alert as police forces blocked the main roads of the capital to prevent possible attacks by the militants.

Somali National Army (SNA) backed by African Union Mission in Somalia have driven al-Shabab militants out of Mogadishu, but the terror group is still capable of conducting attacks, targeting government installations, hotels, restaurants and public places.

             

 

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