Nairobi, Kenya – An explosion rocked a small hotel near a police station in northeastern Kenya on Monday, resulting in the tragic deaths of four individuals, including three police officers. Several others were injured in the blast that occurred in the town of Mandera, situated on the border with Somalia. Authorities revealed that the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device that had been strategically planted at the hotel, detonating during breakfast service.

   The Mandera police chief, Samwel Mutunga, disclosed that two of the wounded individuals were in critical condition and were set to be airlifted to the capital city, Nairobi. Investigators have pointed fingers at the east Africa-based extremist group al-Shabab for the attack, despite the group not officially claiming responsibility. Al-Shabab has been known to carry out significant attacks in both Kenya and Somalia.

   This recent incident comes on the heels of another attack in coastal Kenya’s Lamu County, where two police reservists lost their lives. The forested area in Lamu County has been a hotspot for security operations due to its reputation as a hiding place for al-Shabab militants. Additionally, in a police operation in Garissa County, materials for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs), an AK-47 rifle, and two magazines were uncovered. Three individuals managed to evade capture during the operation.

   The proximity of the area to the Kenya-Somalia border poses a continuous security challenge, as militants have exploited the border to infiltrate and launch attacks in the past. The Kenyan government had initially announced plans to reopen the border with Somalia last year, but this decision was later postponed due to ongoing extremist threats and attacks in the region. Authorities continue to work diligently to enhance security measures and combat the persistent threat posed by extremist groups in the area.

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