MOMBASA, Kenya, July 26 (Xinhua) -- At least five Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers were injured after their vehicle was hit by Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in the coastal town of Lamu on Tuesday.
Regional police commander Francis Wanjohi said the military tanker ran over an IED allegedly planted by Al-Shabaab around Ishakani area in Kiunga in Lamu East, wounding five while others escaped unhurt.
Wanjohi said the soldiers were part of a multi-agency team constructing a perimeter wall along Kenya Somalia border in Lamu aimed at curbing threats posed by Al-Shabaab militants.
KDF and other security units were also deployed to comb the area for the terrorists.
"The soldiers were clearing bushes at a site where the security perimeter wall is being put up on the Lamu-Somali border escaped death by a whisker after the unknowingly ran over the IED," Wanjohi said.
"All the soldiers who were inside the tanker escaped alive but with injuries," he added.
Wanjohi said the Al-Shabaab has planted several IEDs along the highway to target security agents.
The East African nation is building the security wall along its border with Somalia in a bid to keep out Al-Shabaab and boost security after a wave of attacks that have claimed scores of lives and provoked severe criticism of the government's response.
The wall, a series of concrete barriers, fences, ditches and observation posts overlooked by CCTV stations, is expected to stretch from the Indian Ocean to Mandera, where both countries converge with Ethiopia.
He said the team has managed to detonate several IEDs and thwarted terrorist attacks by the militants behind a series of attacks in the coast region in the last two years.
The militants who numbered more than 30 had unsuccessfully tried to access the KDF and police camps in Lamu.
Recently, KDF soldiers killed four Al-Shabaab militants and recovered weapons in a fierce gunfight in Milimani area near Baure, Lamu County
The troops recovered a rocket propelled grenade, a hand grenade, four AK 47 rifles and an improvised explosive device in the incident.
KDF spokesperson Colonel David Obonyo said one soldier was wounded in the exchange of fire. The soldier was airlifted to Mombasa Hospital.
Obonyo said the militants had attempted to attack a rapid deployment unit camp in Mangai. He said the situation was under control and that Operation Linda Boni was still in full force.
The Al-Shabaab has vowed to wage war against Kenya in retaliation over the incursion of KDF troops in Somalia in 2011.