At least eight people were injured when suspected Al-Shabaab militants opened fire on a bus in southern Mandera County on Tuesday, October 6, near the border with Somalia. The bus, operating between Mandera and Nairobi, was reportedly ambushed at around 12:00 (local time) on the main road between Elwak and Kotulo. At least four of those injured are reported to be in a critical condition but it is currently unclear if there were any fatalities from the incident. Buses and other commercial vehicles are usually provided with an armed police escort when traveling in Mandera County due to the high risk of militant attack, and it is currently unclear why the bus involved in Tuesday's attack was not under escort at the time of the incident.
Further militant attacks are likely in Mandera County and other areas along Kenya's porous border with Somalia in the 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 Mandera County are advised to monitor developments, avoid the area of the incident, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
Due to the risk of Al-Shabaab attacks, many Western governments advise their citizens against travel to counties along Kenya's border with Somalia.
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