Early Friday, July 15, 2023, Al-Shabaab militants attacked the Wargadud police station in northeastern Kenya.
The station is located about 42 kilometres north of El-Wak town, on the road from El-Wak to Mandera.
The attack occurred at around 1:40 a.m. local time.
The militants destroyed the Safaricom mast in the area before the attack took place.
This likely cut off communication between the police station and other security forces.
Casualties from the attack have not yet been confirmed.
However, the militants reportedly fired on the police station with heavy weapons, including machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
Al-Shabaab militants killed in Mandera
This is the second attack by Al-Shabaab in the area in recent days.
On Thursday, the militants attacked a military base in Geriley, not far from El-Wak, in Gedo region of Somalia.
The base was recently handed over by Kenya troops serving as part of the Africa Union.
The attacks come as Al-Shabaab is increasingly active in northeastern Kenya. The group has been waging a bloody insurgency against the Kenyan government for over a decade.
The attacks have killed and injured hundreds of people, and displaced thousands more.
BREAKING: Reports of new Al-Shabaab attack in northeastern Kenya, early Friday.
The attack targeted Wargadud police station, about 42KM north of El-Wak town. Wargadud locates on the road from El-Wak to Mandera.
The attack occurred at around 1:40am local time according to a…
— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) July 14, 2023
The Kenyan government has vowed to crack down on Al-Shabaab.
However, the group has shown no signs of slowing down.
The attacks are a reminder of the ongoing threat posed by Al-Shabaab in the region.
In a statement, the Kenya Police Service said that the attack on Wargadud police station was “a cowardly act by the terrorists.” The statement said that the police will “continue to work tirelessly to protect the people of Kenya.”
|Ideology||Islamist extremism, Salafism|
|Leader(s)||Ahmed Umar (Abu Ubaidah)|
|Active in||Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia|
|Goals||Establish an Islamic state in Somalia, remove foreign influence, implement strict Sharia law|
|Tactics||Guerrilla warfare, suicide bombings, assassinations, kidnappings|
|Notable Attacks||Westgate shopping mall attack (2013), Garissa University College attack (2015)|
|Designation||Designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, United Kingdom, and other countries|
|Funding||Taxation, extortion, donations, illicit trade, piracy|
|International Connections||Alleged ties to Al-Qaeda, recruitment of foreign fighters|
The attack is also a reminder of the importance of communication infrastructure in security operations. The destruction of the Safaricom mast in the area likely made it more difficult for the police to communicate with other security forces during the attack. This highlights the need for robust communication infrastructure in areas at risk of attack.