In a tragic incident on Friday, two elite police officers from the Quick Response Unit (QRU) were killed when Al-Shabaab terrorists fired a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) at their vehicle in Mandera, Kenya.
The QRU is a specialized unit of the Kenyan police force tasked with patrolling the volatile Kenya-Somalia border.
The attack occurred as the QRU officers were on a routine patrol of the border area. According to sources within the Kenyan police force, the attackers managed to escape immediately after the incident, and no arrests have been made thus far.
The loss of two highly trained officers is a significant blow to Kenya’s security forces, who have been engaged in a long-standing battle with Al-Shabaab militants in the region. The border between Kenya and Somalia has been a frequent site of conflict and violence, with Al-Shabaab militants launching numerous attacks against Kenyan security forces in recent years.
The attack came as Kenya’s Interior Minister, Kithure Kindiki, was holding a high-level joint security briefing with the country’s North Eastern Regional Security and Intelligence officers.
The incident is a stark reminder of the ongoing security challenges faced by Kenya, particularly in its border regions.
Kenyan authorities have vowed to intensify their efforts to combat Al-Shabaab militants in the wake of the attack. The government has called on members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the security forces.
Since the beginning of the 1990s, Somalia has been a hotspot for terrorism, conflict and instability. In recent years, the predominant perpetrator of violence in Somalia has been the al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadist group alShabaab. While the group’s initial focus was primarily domestic,
in the past few years it has expanded its presence into neighbouring countries. Kenya is by far the worst affected by the expansion of al-Shabaab.
There has been a dramatic increase in terrorist attacks since 2011, when al-Shabaab began expanding its operations beyond the Somalia border. Notable recent attacks include the infamous Westgate Mall attack – in which 67 people were gunned down during a three-day siege
at a Nairobi shopping mall – as well as the attack at Garissa University in 2015 which left almost 150 people dead. A vast majority of the attacks since 2010 have been planned and carried out by al-Shabaab and its Kenyan sympathisers