At least one passenger was killed and 10 others wounded on Monday morning when suspected Al-Shabaab terrorists attacked two buses between Olla and Sarman, Mandera County.
North-Eastern region police commander Rono Bunei said both buses were headed for Moyale from Mandera town when the attack happened.
The buses were being escorted by a police vehicle and two police officers were also injured in the attack.
According to eyewitnesses, one of the buses overturned as the driver tried speeding away from the scene.
“One passenger was killed and both drivers and two officers were injured in the attack. The area has no mobile telephone network and the attackers may have taken advantage of this,” Bunei said.
It is feared that more people could have been killed had the buses stopped.
“We have many casualties but so far 12 have been brought to a local hospital after the incident. They have multiple injuries,” said a source at the facility said.
The buses usually travel as a convoy as part of efforts to mitigate such attacks. The area has in the recent past experienced such attacks attributed to the terror group.
This is the latest incident to happen in the area in a series that are staged by Al-Shabaab gunmen roaming there. Governor Ali Roba had protested the trend of the incidents saying they had crippled the area economy.
Bunei told People Daily that the gang escaped to the nearby thicket and that teams of security agents had arrived there.
“We are pursuing them towards the Somalia-Kenya border where they escaped. We are having challenges with the communication network,” he said.
Last month, the gang also tried to attack a communication mast in Afaat in Wajir county but three of them were killed. It emerged one of them had worked in the area as a mechanic for long before he vanished to Somalia to join the militants.
Police have been mounting operations in the areas to deter their plans.
The terrorists have been targeting security installations in the area in a series of incidents destroying them.
This has affected among others the education sector forcing tens of teachers who are non-locals to flee.
The border region has borne the brunt of repeated attacks from the militants who are at times aided by locals.
The area is near the Somalia border and the militants usually cross at will and stage attacks before escaping back.
Al-Shabaab insurgents have been attacking places in the region especially in Mandera and Garissa after breaching security zones, which left dozens of civilians and security officials dead or wounded.
They have been planting explosives on the routes used by the security agencies and attacking them.