Roadside bomb kills seven in north-eastern Kenya

Residents flock the Mandera County Referral Hospital where victims of the explosion are admitted. PHOTO/NMG 

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At least seven people have been confirmed dead and 13 others left nursing injuries at Mandera County Referral Hospital after a matatu they were traveling in ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Mandera on Monday morning.

The 14-seater matatu plying the Mandera Arabia road had left the Arabia township at about 6am before running over the explosive less than 8 kilometres to Mandera town at around 7am.

“I boarded the matatu at Arabia township ready for Mandera town where I operate a shop. We were just about to get to the tarmac road when the worst happened,” Mr Abdi Dube, a survivor said.

According to Mr Dube, gunshots were heard before their 14 seater Matatu was blown up.

Mandera County Director of Health Services Abdi Maalim said the county referral hospital received a total of seven bodies from the scene and 13 injured patients with four in critical condition.

“We have seven bodies from the scene and thirteen injured patients who are receiving treatment at the moment,” he said.

Suspect arrested

One suspect has been arrested in connection with the explosion.

Confirming the arrest, North Eastern region police boss Bunei Rono said the unnamed individual was being questioned by detectives.

According to the police, the attack was carried out by a gang of six.

“On Monday January 31, 2022, around seven in the morning a civilian vehicle plying Mandera-Arabia road was attacked with an IED. It happened approximately 8kms from Mandera town. The attackers numbering around six then reinforced the IED attack with AK47 rifles. A GSU patrol team which was on foot and close to the area responded immediately,” reads a police report seen by the Nation.

A similar incident happened in the same location last year in March 2021, after a bus ran over an IED killing several people dead.

*Written by Manase Otsialo and Farhiya Hussein

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