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Blast Kills Kenyan Soldier Near Somali Border


A Kenyan soldier stands guard an airstrip in an area near the Somali-Kenyan border where al-Shabab militants are active (file photo).

A Kenyan soldier stands guard an airstrip in an area near the Somali-Kenyan border where al-Shabab militants are active (file photo).

The Kenyan military says one soldier was killed and several others wounded Thursday when their truck drove over an explosive device, near Kenya's borders with Somalia and Ethiopia.

A statement from spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir said the explosion happened as the soldiers were on patrol in the town of Mandera. He said five seriously wounded soldiers were airlifted to the town of Garissa for treatment, but one died of his wounds.

Chirchir said 13 troops were on board the truck. Earlier media reports said as many as 11 soldiers were wounded.

The blast was the latest of several grenade and roadside bomb attacks in Kenya since Kenyan troops entered Somalia to hunt down the militant group al-Shabab.

On Tuesday, a roadside bomb exploded in the Wadajir district of southern Mogadishu, killing 10 people.

Al-Shabab has been fighting since 2008 to topple Somalia's weak central government. The group is believed to have ties to al-Qaida, and is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.

Kenya has blamed the Islamic insurgents for a string of kidnappings of foreigners on Kenyan soil.

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