01/31/2022 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Thirteen passengers were killed and others were severely injured on January 31 in northeastern Kenya after their public service vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device. According to a survivor, the attackers, suspected to be al-Shabaab militants, fired gunshots at the vehicle just before it drove over the bomb which had been planted on the road.
According to police, “The 7:00 a.m. attack happened about eight km from Mandera town when the passenger vehicle stepped on a concealed roadside bomb that detonated and blew the 18-seater coach apart. Then the group of around six terrorists followed up with gun attacks. Our patrol team responded immediately and [was] able to stop any further killings.”
The victims have not been identified, and those injured were taken to Mandera County hospital.
The Arabia-Mandera road, where the attack occurred, runs closely adjacent to the porous Kenya-Somalia border. This is often the site where al-Qaeda-allied al-Shabaab militants sneak into the country to carry out attacks on Christians and government officials. ICC’s partner in Mandera condemned the attack, calling on the government to reinstate passenger vehicle escorts in the county of Mandera.
He explained, “We are saddened to hear that the al-Shabaab fighters have hit us again. Since the new year, Mandera has been so peaceful until hearing the sound of a gunshot had almost been forgotten. We haven’t received the names of the victims, but whoever they are, we send our condolences. We are waiting for a detailed real report from the Mandera police commander.”
He added, “It is rare to have Christians traveling using the road where the terrorists attacked this morning due to security concerns, but still we condemn the heinous act, and ask the government to resume escorting vehicles plying risky roads in Mandera.”
A similar attack in the same area happened in March 2021 when a bus ran over an explosive killing five passengers. In 2018, two people were killed in Arabia Secondary School when al-Shabaab terrorists perpetrated a night incursion targeting Christians.
This is the ninth terror attack in Kenya this year. The country is on high alert after foreign and local intelligence bodies warned of possible attacks by the Somalia-based terror group.
SOURCE International Christian Concern