Three suspected Al-Shabaab militants were killed and two police officers injured in Lamu County on Monday after an IED attack on the Kiunga-Somalia border, security sources say.
The sources, who spoke to the Nation on condition of anonymity, said that after the explosion, there was a heavy exchange of fire between the attackers and security agents from the Rapid Border Patrol Unit (RBPU).
They said the incident took place at about 9.30am as the police officers conducted a routine patrol.
“A terrorist's [improvised explosive devise] detonated some kilometres from Kiunga, towards the border with Somalia," one of the sources said.
"The IED was planted by suspected Al-Shabaab militants who were targeting our RBPU officers. The militants were hiding in nearby bushes with the intention of ambushing our security officers.
"They fired several times at our officers shortly after the IED detonated. Our officers responded immediately and were able to gun down three of the militants. Two of our officers were critically injured during the attack.
Local administrators who were contacted said they had received reports of the attack.
Lamu East Deputy County Commissioner David Lusava also confirmed the incident but said he did not have information on the casualties.
“I don’t have information concerning how many were injured or killed and whether they were terrorists or our security agents," he said, noting that a multiagency team taking part in the Linda Boni operation.
The incident came about a month after four Al-Shabaab militants were killed and an unknown number of the militants injured when an IED they were planting detonated prematurely.
This incident took place near Kwa Omollo Bridge, along Bodhai-Bar’goni road in Lamu East, on June 13.
Kiunga, Kwa Omollo Bridge, Bodhai, Ishakani and all other areas bordering the Lamu-Somalia border fall within Boni Forest, infamous for being the terrorists' hideout.
The government launched the operation in September, 2015, following many attacks in the region.
The terrorists turned the forest into their hideout following attacks in 2014 in Mpeketoni, Kibaoni, Witu and Hindi in Lamu West, that left more than 100 residents dead.
They flee into the vast forest after carrying out attacks on civilians and security personnel.