Suspected Al-Shabaab militants launched an attack on a police post in the Khorof Harar area of Wajir County on the morning (local time) of Saturday, May 16. The post reportedly came under mortar and automatic weapons fire shortly before dawn, forcing police officers to retreat. Although there were no casualties from the incident, local reports claimed that weapons and equipment were looted from the police station. A nearby communications mast is also reported to have been sabotaged in the attack, a common tactic of Al-Shabaab militants operating along Kenya's porous border with Somalia.
Security operations in the area are likely in the near term as security forces search for the attackers.
Al-Shabaab has long posed a significant terrorist threat in areas along Kenya's border with Somalia. Since the Kenyan intervention against the group in Somalia in 2011, attacks have regularly been staged on security forces, government interests, and local communities in rural areas of the border counties of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Lamu. Many of these attacks have involved the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) targeting security forces patrols and civilian vehicles on remote border roads, but police outposts and infrastructure have also frequently been targeted.
Individuals in Kenya are advised to avoid nonessential travel to areas near the border with Somalia due to the increased risk of terrorism. Those in Wajir County should monitor developments, remain vigilant, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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