Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Two policemen injured in road blast in near Mandera border
Sunday, September 16, 2012

MANDERA (Xinhua) -- Two Kenyan policemen were injured on Saturday in an explosion in the northern town of Mandera bordering both Ethiopia and war-ravaged Somalia, local authorities reported.

The officers from the Administration Police were hurt in the blast as their vehicle was speeding to respond to a previous deafening explosion at Matatu in the border area.

It occurred less than two hours after a massive demonstration by the local residents in solidarity with Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa denouncing a U.S.-made film, which they see as an insult to Muslim’s Prophet Mohammed.

The demonstrators burnt effigies of American flags and chanted slogans denouncing the West for disrespect to their faith.

The demonstration which was organized by local youth groups was entirely peaceful.

However, a senior official who declined to be named said the demonstration and the explosion were not linked in any way.

Mandera District Commissioner Elvis Korir said the two junior police officers sustained slight injuries and that they were sent to Mandera district hospital for treatment.

He said the police vehicle was badly damaged by an improvise explosive device planted on the road.

"Our officers who were on patrol in the town heard a big explosion and they rush by their land cruiser vehicle to the scene of the explosion, but on their way few meters from where the first explosion happened their vehicle stepped on another explosive device," Kori said.

"The officers were seated on the back cabin of the vehicle when it overran the explosive devise which was planted on the road unsuspectingly and on impact they were thrown off the vehicle causing them bodily injuries."

Korir said police had previously found a stockpile of ammunition suspected to be used in a series of attacks on churches in Nairobi.

The attacks have similarities especially in the region close to Somalia.

Kenya’s defense force crossed into southern Somalia in mid-October 2011 in pursuit of Al-Shabaab after a series of kidnappings on the side of Kenya.

The Al-Qaida linked militant group has since launched retaliatory attacks, killing dozens of people including Kenyan security officers.


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