An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in El Wak (Mandera county) on Monday, August 13, leaving at least three people dead and one wounded who were working on building a security wall along the Kenya-Somalia border. Local officials blamed Al-Shabaab militants for planting the IED along a road used by the victims to travel to the wall construction site near the border. Additional Al-Shabaab attacks are possible in Mandera county in the near-term.
The attack comes during a general lull in violence in the border region despite continuing sporadic attacks, notably including a suspected Al-Shabaab IED attack which killed at least five Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops in Lamu county on August 8. Al-Shabaab regularly carries out attacks near the porous border with Somalia as well as in coastal areas. The group has also conducted several large attacks in the capital of Nairobi. Kenya has been part of a multinational force engaged with Al-Shabaab in Somalia since 2011.
Individuals in Kenya are advised to avoid the Kenya-Somalia border region, remain vigilant for militant activity, monitor the situation, and adhere to instructions issued by the local authorities.
Due to these and other security concerns, many Western governments advise against travel to a number of regions in the country, including areas bordering Somalia (parts of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Lamu counties), Ethiopia, and South Sudan, as well as nonessential travel to the city of Mombasa. Several Nairobi neighborhoods, including Eastleigh and Pangani, are also best avoided.