By Magdalene Mukami and Andrew Wasike
Five police officers attached to a Kenyan government official were killed Wednesday after their vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device in Kenya's Mandera County.
Confirming the deaths of the police officers, Mandera County Governor Ali Roba said in a statement that among the dead was his bodyguard.
"Unfortunately, I lost five of my security officers including my personal bodyguard at an attack on my convoy between Arabia and Fino [towns]," the governor said, noting that he and the other leaders who were in the convoy were safe.
According to witnesses who spoke to Kenyan local media, the vehicles carrying the Kenyan leaders had not reached the location where the bomb had been placed.
The attack spelled double tragedy for the Kenyan police as earlier Wednesday, three police officers were killed and eight others injured in a similar attack in Liboi town, which lies around 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the Somali border in Garissa county.
Hours earlier, police had issued a terror alert for northern Kenya and said al-Shabaab militants had split into small groups to carry out bomb attacks along routes used by police patrols.
The latest attack takes the toll of police officers killed in similar border attacks in northern Kenya this month to 15.
In previous years, al-Shabaab has increased its level of attacks in Kenya and Somalia during Ramadan, which starts Friday.