Correction:Al-Shabaab injures police officers in Garissa attack
The officers were travelling to Yumbis in four vehicles to reinforce the squad that was battling the militants who had attacked and injured their colleagues on Monday afternoon.
The attack sparked confusion in government, with State House, Interior ministry, the police and local administration giving conflicting figures on the number of injured officers.
MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE
The Presidential Strategic Communications Unit, for instance, posted a tweet stating that President Uhuru Kenyatta had sent a message of condolence to families of police officers killed in the attack.
The tweet was, however, deleted, with Director of Digital Communications in the Office of the President Dennis Itumbi apologising for the error.
Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet in a statement said five officers were hurt and five vehicles reduced to ashes, while a post on the Interior ministry’s Twitter page said only one policeman was injured.
Mr Boinnet said Al-Shabaab gunmen attacked the officers as they patrolled Yumbis area.
A screenshot showing conflicting tweets by government officials on the number of officers injured in Al- Shabaab attack on May 25, 2015 in Yumbis, Garissa County. GRAPHIC | NATION MEDIA GROUP.
“Arising from the attack, a contingent of police officers responded and on arrival at the scene, engaged attackers in heavy fire gunfight,” he said.
Garissa County Commissioner James Kianda said five police officers out of the 30 deployed to Yumbis sustained bullet injuries.
He said the militants set alight police vehicles after the officers disembarked and pursued a section of the gunmen on foot.
Jarajila Ward Rep Mahat Osman told Nation.co.ke that at least eight policemen were injured in both attacks.
In the Monday afternoon attack, three police officers were injured after their vehicle ran over a land mine.
Mr Osman said the police officers were heading to Yumbis Location when the vehicle ran over the landmine at Yarey.
He said the injured officers were taken to Garissa Referral Hospital.
The attack on police officers comes a week after Al-Shabaab militants attacked Yumbis and preached to locals for hours.