The death toll from Monday’s attack on two commuter buses in Mandera county, northeast Kenya, has risen to three after two police officers succumbed to death, the police said in a security report Tuesday.
The police said that 18 people including seven police officers are hospitalized following an ambush by al-Shabab militants in an area bordering Somalia. The two deceased police officers were escorting the two buses when they came under attack on Monday afternoon.
“The two buses were leading the convoy and when they were fired at, the nine officers in the escape vehicle at the rear quickly disembarked and engaged the al-Shabab in a shootout. The officers sensing they were running out of ammunition opted to flee into nearby bushes,” the police said in the report.
The police said the militants torched a police vehicle that was carrying the police officers. The convoy was traveling from Rhamu to Banisa when they were attacked at Kormatto area, which is between Olla and Serman prompting an exchange of fire.
After the shootout, nine officers were injured before two succumbed to their injuries due to multiple injuries. The attackers escaped with some weapons issued to the officers who had been injured. No arrest has been made.
The buses usually leave as a convoy as part of efforts to address such attack fears.
The area of the attack, which is in the northeast part of Kenya, has been a safe area since 2013 but has lately been a soft target.
The terrorist group has been attacking areas along the Kenya-Somalia border while targeting mostly non-locals working in the region.