Authorities in Wajir county reportedly prevented an attempted kidnapping by alleged Al-Shabaab militants on Tuesday, July 7. The kidnappers reportedly hijacked a civilian vehicle with eight occupants in the El Wak area before attempting to drive to Somalia. Security forces intercepted the group with no casualties, although the kidnappers reportedly escaped. Following a period of relative quiet, there has been a recent increase in Al-Shabaab activity in Kenya near the border with Somalia. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for an alleged attack on a police camp in Garissa county on June 23, and destroyed a telecommunications mast in the Korakora area of the county on Thursday, July 9. Security agencies have been warned of an increased possibility of attacks on installations on the Kenyan-Somali border.
Militant attacks and a heightened security presence near the Kenyan-Somali border are likely in the near to medium term.
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 communications infrastructure have also frequently been targeted.
Those in Kenya are advised to avoid nonessential travel to areas near the border with Somalia due to the increased risk of terrorism. Travelers in Wajir County should monitor developments, remain vigilant, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
Due to various security concerns, many Western governments have advised against travel to a number of regions in the country, including areas of Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, and Lamu counties bordering Somalia.
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