Kenyan soldiers killed in a roadside blast in Lamu county

Ten soldiers were killed and four others wounded after their vehicle which was on patrol ran over an improvised explosive device along Milimani Baure road. Xinhua

NAIROBI, Kenya - The Kenya Defence Forces [KDF] has confirmed an Improvised Explosive Device [IED] attack on one of its vehicles on Sunday in the coastal county of Lamu, in a rare public statement which comes over 24 hours after the incident was first reported in various social media channels.

On Sunday, the statement notes, an unspecified number of KDF soldiers were injured in an IED explosion and would later be airlifted to Manda Bay Hospital, which is run by the US Africa Command, and has also been previously a victim of Al-Shabaab raids.

"On 10th September 2023, soldiers patrolling Milimani Baure Road in Lamu ran over an IED. The injured were airlifted to Manda Bay Hospital," read the rare statement from the KDF team, which has been actively running anti-Alshabaab war both in the country and across the borders.

The KDF also asked locals to give information to multi-agency security teams serving within Lamu County, which has been an epicenter of Al-Shabaab raids in the past few months. The criminals, KDF alleged, could be interacting with locals and even staying amongst them.

"KDF condemns criminals who disrupt movement and sabotage social-economic activities. Further, KDF calls for locals to share information with security agencies on these criminals who lurk in their communities," read the dispatch.

There are unconfirmed reports that 10 KDF soldiers could have been killed but the official statement could neither deny nor acknowledge these reports. A number of soldiers have been killed through IEDs in Lamu, Wajir, Mandera, and Garissa counties, sparking security debates in Kenya.

While appearing on a local media show, Defense Minister Aden Duale accused locals of harboring criminals who cross over from Somalia, arguing that it might be very difficult for KDF to eliminate the group should locals fail to share intelligence. He also linked attacks to the dense Boni Forest.

A few years ago, KDF launched Operation Amani Boni but the mission is yet to fulfill its mandate, over five years later. The militants have been using the forest as a hideout to wage attacks against local security officers, senior government officials, and innocent civilians.


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