A Kenyan police officer is missing after suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked and burnt two police vehicles escorting a commuter bus in Mandera country on Monday evening.
A senior police officer confirmed on Tuesday that the vehicles with 12 police officers on board had been ambushed by militants in Dabacity area, Mandera County, which borders Somalia.
“The rescue team comprising of Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) and police officers have successfully evacuated 11 officers from the scene and unable to trace one who is said to have made a communication to the station from his hideout,” said the officer who declined to be named.
He said the vehicles with 12 officers were escorting a commuter bus to Mandera when they were hit by rocket propelled grenades. A firearm is also missing amid speculations the terrorists escaped with it.
Another officer was injured during the ambush as the militants moved to burn the vehicles before escaping.
Efforts to locate the missing officer is ongoing.
The police officer said no passenger in the bus was affected as the ambush happened when the vehicle had passed the scene.
The officer said the attack came after a lull of three months during which no incident was reported.
Al-Shabaab militants, which have been mounting cross-border attacks in Mandera, are said to be grouping in the area. It has become difficult to attack them due to heavy rains.
Al-Shabaab has vowed to attack Kenya after the east African nation sent troops into southern Somalia in 2011 to help flush out the insurgents blamed for kidnappings of tourists.
Kenya now has more than 4,000 troops in the 22,000-strong African Union force in Somalia helping the United Nations-backed government battle Al-Shabaab, which is allied to the Al-Qaida terror network.