NAIROBI (Reuters) - Three Kenyan soldiers were wounded, one of them critically, when their vehicle was hit in eastern Kenya by a roadside bomb that the Somali Islamist al Shabaab group said it had planted.
The blast in Hulugho, Garissa County, which lies next to the Somali border, shows the group still has the ability to stage attacks outside Somalia even though the rebels have been driven out of major strongholds inside the Horn of Africa nation.
Kenya is part of an African Union force that has been battling the Islamist rebels. Al Shabaab has often staged attacks in Kenya and has said it will continue to launch strikes until Kenyan forces leave Somalia.
“Three soldiers were injured. One was critical, but (they) were evacuated for medical attention,” Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman, Colonel David Obonyo, told Reuters in a brief message, adding the blast was caused by an improvised explosive devices, or IED.
Earlier, al Shabaab had claimed responsibility for the attack and said all those in the vehicle had died. “We destroyed a KDF military vehicle and destroyed all on board,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, told Reuters.
Al Shabaab’s attacks in Kenya have include a raid by gunmen on the upscale Westgate shopping mall in 2013 and a university in Garissa this year. Hundreds of people have been killed in al Shabaab attacks in the past two years.
Reporting by Edmund Blair in Nairobi and Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh in Mogadishu; Editing by Dominic Evans