An Al Shabaab militant died on the spot while two others were injured near the Kenya Somali border after an improvised explosive device they were trying to set up blew up prematurely. The incident reportedly happened approximately 7 kilometres to the east of Mandera town.
The militant who died at the scene was discovered by local pastoralists who heard the explosion while tending to their flocks Saturday morning.
“The other two were found several meters from the scene with severe injuries and have been taken to Mandera County Referral Hospital for immediate treatment.” said one of the officers who were first at the scene. He added that police also found three loaded AK 47 rifles.
There has been an upsurge of botched IED explosions in the past few months by the Al Shabaab. Just last month, another militant was blown in half and died on the spot while trying to set up an IED along a service road near Ras Kamboni.
The phenomenon has been attributed to lack of explosive experts by the defunct group owing to lack of financing and logistical challenges. Other reports suggest a desire by certain cells to procure relevance by making their own homemade explosives and thus unprecedented explosions.
All these collectively imply that the militant group is on its death bed even as COVID 19 eats at its ranks leading to high levels of defection to government and other security agencies.