Kenyan military says at least 15 Al-Shabaab militants killed in IED blast

KDF had been battling against Al-Shabaab in the border region after surge in attacks since 2011 [File Photo]

NAIROBI, Kenya - The Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] has confirmed that at least 15 Al-Shabaab militants died on Monday after an Improvised Explosive Device [IED] went off after they had targeted some rural suburbs of Lamu.

According to KDF spokesperson Colonel Esther Kioko, the 15 were traveling inside a vehicle that ran over the IED, killing them on the spot and destroying the vehicle.

“The vehicle ran over an IED killing the 15 on the spot in Lamu near the border with Somalia,” a statement by Esther Kioko, the Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] spokesperson, said.

Col. Kioko said the incident took place at 9:30 am between Sarira and Ras Kiamboni near Ishakani in Lamu County. According to Kioko, the IED was placed on the road by Al-Shabab fighters. It appears that the Al-Shabaab fighters unintentionally ran over it.

It's been established that all occupants of the vehicle died on the spot. There was a massive presence of police officers near the area where the incident took place.

Intelligence reports published by the security forces in Kenya have frequently revealed that a considerable presence of militants along with the Kenya- Somali border and within the vast North-Eastern region.

It remains unclear who had planted the IED, which ended the lives of the militants. However, Al Shabaab is known to use IEDs, especially in the North-Eastern region. Kenya has been a target of the militants who have their base located in Somalia.

In a recent statement, Strategic Intelligence, which keeps records on Al Shabaab operations and attacks in the East Africa region, said that Kenyan Security agencies should be cautious, especially in terror-prone counties of Mandera, Wajir Lamu, and Garissa.

In May, suspected Al Shabaab militants planted IEDs along a busy road in Lamu which led to the death of eight soldiers after a vehicle the officers were traveling in ran over an IED which police believe was planted by the militants in Baure.

The early morning incident took place in Baure, located in the dense Boni Forest, where the national government has been undertaking a multi-agency security operation dubbed Linda Boni.

The operation is aimed at flashing out Al-Shabaab militants in the vast Lamu County. Two weeks before the incident took place, two people were killed and one critically injured in Lamu when the vehicle they were traveling in ran over an IED still near the border with Somalia.

Al-Shabaab militants denied that their militants were killed by running over their own IED. Media outlets that are affiliated with the insurgency group claim that it was fifteen Kenyan soldiers who were killed on Monday.

For the last two years, a considerable number of KDF troops have been pitching tents in Lamu where they are involved in an operation in Boni Forest. Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta visited a Naval Base in Manda, a year after the Al-Shabaab attack in Manda Naval Base.

Last year's incident forced the Americans to deploy more security forces along Kenya's coast. The January 5, 2020 incident left three Americans dead but security forces managed to kill the militants who attacked the base.


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