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Deadly Blast Strikes Hotel in Kenya, Killing Four

Mandera, Kenya ( TAE) – A devastating explosion occurred at a modest hotel in Mandera, a town situated near the northeastern border of Kenya with Somalia, on Monday, March 25, resulting in the tragic loss of four lives and leaving 15 others wounded. The incident took place close to a local police station, intensifying concerns over security in the region.

Samwel Mutunga, the police chief of Mandera, reported that among the injured, two individuals were critically wounded and are being airlifted to the capital for advanced medical care, while others have been admitted to a local hospital. “In the process of transporting some victims to the hospital, including police officers, we unfortunately lost two individuals immediately – one officer and one civilian. Subsequently, two more police officers succumbed to their injuries,” Mutunga disclosed.

Authorities have identified an improvised explosive device (IED) as the cause of the blast, which detonated in the hotel as patrons gathered for breakfast. The attack has been attributed to the extremist group Al-Shabab, although the group has yet to claim responsibility.

Mutunga assured that investigations are underway, stating, “We have launched investigations and I am assuring you we are going to bring these perpetrators to book. We have some leads.” Al-Shabab, known for staging significant attacks in Kenya and neighboring Somalia, has not commented on the incident.

This latest act of violence follows another attack in Lamu County, coastal Kenya, on Sunday, March 24, where two police reservists were killed. The area, characterized by dense forests, has been a focal point for security operations targeting Al-Shabab militants.

Further complicating the security landscape, a police operation in Garissa County on Sunday led to the recovery of IED-making materials, an AK-47 rifle, and two magazines, though three suspects managed to escape. This operation underscores the ongoing threat posed by militants crossing from Somalia into Kenya.

The incident marks the most significant attack in Mandera since the April 2019 kidnapping of two Cuban doctors by Al-Shabab. The Kenyan government had previously announced intentions to reopen the border with Somalia last year but postponed the decision citing the persistent risk of extremist attacks.

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