Three die, 10 harm after bus hits suspected explosive gadget in northern Kenya

Nairobi, March 24

Three people died and ten were wounded on Wednesday after a bus they were travelling in hit a suspected improvised explosive device planted in the road in Mandera county in Kenya’s north along its border with Somalia, a government official said.

The incident occurred along a busy highway, and four of the ten injured were in critical condition, Nicholas Ndalana, the government coordinator for the region told Reuters on phone.

The bus had departed from Lafey and was en route to Mandera town.

“An attack of a bus took place this morning, sad enough we lost three passengers, the bus was completely damaged by an explosive device that was planted on the ground” Ndalana said.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible. The area has, over the years, been frequently hit with bomb and gun assaults by fighters from Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamist group.

Osman Liban, a resident from Mandera, told Reuters his nephew was among those injured and that his leg was fractured.

Fighters from al Shabaab have killed hundreds in such attacks that have targeted security personnel, schools, vehicles, towns and telephone infrastructure in the area as part of their campaign to pressure Kenya into withdrawing its forces from Somalia.

Kenyan forces are part of the African-Union mandated peace keeping force AMISOM that is helping defend Somalia’s central government from al Shabaab. Al Shabaab has been fighting for more than a decade to topple Somalia’s central government and establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law. — Reuters

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