Five Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers were killed on Wednesday, August 8, when their vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Lamu county. According to local government officials, the attack occurred between the towns of Majengo and Bodhei. Al-Shabaab is suspected of being behind the attack, though they have not claimed responsibility as of the morning (local time) of Thursday, August 9.
The attack comes during a general lull in violence in the border region despite sporadic attacks, including a July 26 ambush that killed one soldier and wounded two others. Recent KDF operations in the area are attempting to drive out Al-Shabaab militants from the Boni National Reserve along the border with Somalia. Al-Shabaab regularly carries out attacks near the porous border with Somalia as well as coastal areas. The group has also conducted several large attacks in the capital of Nairobi. Kenya has been part of a multi-national force engaged with Al-Shabaab in Somalia since 2011.
Individuals in Kenya are advised to avoid the northern coast and border regions, remain vigilant, monitor the situation, and adhere to instructions issued by the local authorities.
Due to these and other security concerns, many Western governments advise against travel to a number of regions in the country, including areas bordering Somalia (parts of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Lamu counties), Ethiopia, and South Sudan, as well as nonessential travel to the city of Mombasa. Several Nairobi neighborhoods, including Eastleigh and Pangani, are also best avoided.
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