Bomb kills 5 Kenyan soldiers near Somali border

The incident occurred on a dirt road a few kilometres from the border, between the coastal village of Kiunga, where there is an airstrip, and Sankuri.

FILE: A Kenyan soldier serving with the AMISOM is pictured through a bullet hole in the gate of the compound housing the former offices of the UN’s refugee agency in Kismayo, southern Somalia. Picture: UN Photo.

MOGADISHU – Five Kenyan soldiers were killed and 10 injured Wednesday when their vehicle hit a landmine on a road in a coastal area close to the Somali border.

"Soldiers operating in Lamu County, while on a humanitarian civil assignment to fetch and distribute water to the residents in the area, hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED)," the military said in a statement.

It said five soldiers "succumbed to their injuries" while 10 were being treated for injuries.

The incident occurred on a dirt road a few kilometres from the border, between the coastal village of Kiunga, where there is an airstrip, and Sankuri.

The Kenyan army has for years been present in the area in a bid to disrupt attacks by al-Qaeda linked jihadists from the Shabaab group which is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu.

Kenyan security officers are regularly killed by roadside bombs planted by the militants in the border areas, most recently earlier this month when five died.