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Police launch security operation as two policemen wounded
Xinhua
Friday, July 13, 2012

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Kenyan authorities have launched a major operation in Mandera district in northern region after Al-Shabaab suspects sprayed a police vehicle with bullets, seriously injuring 2 police officers.

The vehicle whose occupants were Mandera deputy divisional police commander Michael Mbaluku was ambushed on Garissa-Mandera road as the officers were headed for a regional security meeting in Garissa town.

"I was heading to the Provincial Police headquarters in Garissa for a security meeting when heavily armed Al-Shabaab militants sprayed Landrover vehicle with bullets, seriously injuring the two police officers.

"The driver was shot thrice but he managed to drive the vehicle to safety," said Mbaluku who narrowly escaped death.

The East African nation has enhanced security measures across the country to thwart terror threats being mounted by Al-Shabaab blamed for grenade and landmine attacks on Kenyan.

The latest incident came a week after Kenyan authorities introduced tough security measures in the wake of terrorism attacks targeting key cities and towns particularly in northern region across the East African nation.

Acting Internal Security Minister Yusuf Haji said over 700 new police officers have been deployed in northeast region where Somali militants, Al-Shabaab, have been carrying out landmine and grenade attacks including abduction of foreigners.

"We have made special arrangements in stepping up security and this involves more security personnel who have been deployed in northern region.

"We have also resolved to enhance security during church functions," Haji told journalists in Nairobi.

The raft measures came as authorities are still questioning several suspects in connection with the twin churches attacks which killed at least 18 people and injured more than 65 others in northern Kenya.

The police officers were in a group of three headed for the security meeting when an estimated 40 insurgents from neighboring Somalia ambushed between Omarijilo and Arabia which is near the border with Somalia.

"A group of gunmen sprayed our vehicle with bullets as we also engaged them but we escaped death narrowly.

"The driver and the other police officer were the only ones who were injured in the attack," Mbaluku said.

The country has been subjected to successive explosives attacks by Al-Shabaab operatives in the country following the onslaught by Kenyan soldiers on the Al-Shabaab in Somalia after the militia staged a series of attacks along the Kenyan coast.

The recent church attacks incident comes amid heightened security in Nairobi after Somali insurgents threatened reprisal attacks in Kenya if her soldiers who launched cross border incursions in October last year do not leave the Horn of Africa nation.

The militant group has also come under pressure from Uganda, Burundi and Sierra Leone soldiers who recently pushed them out of the outskirts of Somali capital Mogadishu and other key regions they used to control two years ago.


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