Blast at Kenya refugee camp kills police officer

Reuters News
Posted: May 15, 2012 6:19 AM
Blast at Kenya refugee camp kills police officer

ISIOLO, Kenya (Reuters) - A suspected remote-controlled bomb went off in Kenya's Dadaab refugee complex near Somalia on Tuesday, killing one police officer and wounding three, the local police chief said.

Kenya has been struck by a wave of bomb blasts and grenade attacks since its military incursion into Somalia in October which it blames on al Qaeda-linked militants and their sympathizers in its lawless neighbor. The bombers have targeted Kenya's remote north-east, the capital Nairobi and Mombasa, threatening its lucrative tourist trade.

"An administration police Land Rover that was on patrol was hit by an IED (improvised explosive device) that was hidden under the ground and believed to be remote controlled," Garissa county police chief George Kingi told Reuters.

The blast occurred at the Dagahaley camp, one of three that make up the Dadaab complex, the world's largest refugee settlement. It is home to some 460,000 people, most of them Somalis who have fled two decades of conflict and famine.

Police in Dadaab carried out a controlled detonation on an explosive device found there last week and defused another. The worsening security situation in the camps forced the United Nations to suspend non-lifesaving operations at them in October.

The bombing came as the European Union's anti-piracy force attacked pirate installations on Somalia's coastline by air on Tuesday for the first time since its mandate was expanded earlier this year.

(Reporting by Noor Ali; Editing by Richard Lough and Andrew Osborn)