Eight Kenyan police officers were killed when their vehicle was destroyed by an improvised explosive device in a suspected attack by Somalia-based rebel group al-Shabab, police said.
The incident took place on Tuesday in Garissa county in eastern Kenya, a region on the border with Somalia, where al-Shabab has been waging a bloody rebellion against the fragile government in Mogadishu for more than 15 years. The attack came only days after Ethiopia said it foiled a suicide attack by the group in the border town of Dollo.
Al-Shabab, which has been linked to al-Qaeda, has been waging an armed rebellion against Somalia’s central government for about 15 years. Kenya first sent troops into Somalia in 2011 to combat the group and is now a major contributor of troops to an African Union (AU) military operation against the group.
However, it has suffered a string of retaliatory assaults, including a bloody siege at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in 2013 that cost 67 lives and an attack on Garissa University in 2015 that killed 148 people.
In Somalia itself, al-Shabab has continued to wage deadly attacks despite a major offensive launched last August by pro-government forces, backed by the AU force known as ATMIS.