Equity Bank has suspended all operations at their Elwak branch in  Mandera following an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion at Elwak town on Monday morning.

Equity in a statement on Monday asked their customers to remain patient as security officers deal with the problem advising them to employ other ways of accessing services from the bank on their phones.

“Dear Esteemed Members, We regret to inform you, that our Elwak Branch, Mandera County will remain closed today following an explosion in Elwak Town. We confirm that our branch and the staff in Elwak are safe. However, as the security agencies continue with investigations,” the bank said in a message on social media.

”As we wait for the security agencies to advise on when operations can resume, we apologise for the inconvenience caused. Thank you for your understanding.” they added.

Police confirming the explosion said it happened opposite an Administration Police camp noting that the offenders targeted premise houses of non-locals including teachers, nurses casual labourers and police officers.

According to witnesses, at least five people are feared dead with four of them being non-locals and one local.

This information has however not been confirmed by the police who have not yet revealed the number of fatalities.

Officials said they believe the incident was set up by al-Shabaab terrorists or their remnants operating in the area.

“The explosion may have also been set up by locals who are extremists and hiding behind al-Shabaab terrorists,” officials said

A probe into the explosion has been launched as Security operations have already been deployed to the area, however no arrests have been made so far.

This however is not the first attack attempt as on April 13, gunmen suspected to be al Shabaab militants raided a local hospital and terrorized guards on duty.

Guards at the Elwak Referral Hospital reported they were on duty when four men armed with rifles and in military attire walked to their sentries.

Police have been staging operations in the region to downgrade the activities of the terrorists which includes increased deployment of security officers in the area in general.

Al-Shabaab terrorists have been attacking places in the region, especially in Mandera and Garissa counties after breaching security zones, which left dozens of civilians and security officials dead and others wounded.

Also read;Government Publishes List And  Faces Of 35 Most Wanted Terrorists

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