Kenya acquires 30 armoured vehicles to fight terror

The Kenyan government said on Monday it has acquired armoured vehicles for police in counter terrorism strategy in the country.

Armoured personnel carriers in Russia move towards the Ukraine border. Photograph: Shaun Walker
Photograph: Shaun Walker

The fleet of about 30 armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) was offloaded at the Port of Mombasa on Sunday.

Armoured personnel carriers in Russia move towards the Ukraine border. Photograph: Shaun Walker
Photograph: Shaun Walker

Senior police officers told Xinhua on Monday that the modern vehicles are fitted with very sophisticated communication gadgets for effective coordination of police operation.

The vehicles have already been transferred to General Service Unit (GSU) headquarters in Nairobi waiting for deployment.

“This is the first time that the country has acquired armoured vehicles for police. Its major step in improving security operations in the country and especially in the war against terror,” the officer said.

The APCs will help the police fight terrorism and organised crime without depending on the military which is involved in the fight against Al-Shabaab in neighbouring Somalia.

The Kenyan leader said terrorist attacks led to serious trouble in key sectors of the economy, tourism among them.

There are also plans to provide Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles to officers deployed in volatile areas designed to withstand IED attacks.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was expected to tour the GSU headquarters in Nairobi to inspect the vehicles before they are officially commissioned for deployment.

The vehicles will be dispatched to various counties prone to terrorist including the Coastal region of Lamu that has in the recent years witnessed rising cases of Improvised explosive Device (IED) attacks.

They will assist in effective patrol in the vast Boni forest where Al-Shabaab are believed to be hiding to plan and execute attacks.

Al-Shabaab’s new tactics of using IEDs to carry out ambush targeting security agents has derailed operation Linda Boni in Lamu County.

The IED strategically planted along the roads near Kenya-Somalia border are slowing down the operations in the vast forest which is near the Somali border, according to commanders involved in the operation.

The area affected include Bondhei, Pandanguo, Kiunga, Baragoi and Milimani which has claimed several lives in the recent past.

“The officers have been combing the areas to look for the explosives, as well as pursuing the Al-Shabaab militants hiding in the vast Boni forest, but the lack of proper equipment remains a challenge,” said the officer.

Last week, at least seven security officers were killed and three others injured when their vehicle ran over a landmine suspected to have been planted by Al-Shabaab militants in the coastal region of Lamu. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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