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Over 30 armored personnel carriers that Kenya bought from China in 2016 to protect personnel from improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and landmine are evidently useless against rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), international media reports have said.
Reacting to an incident in which five security personnel were killed on September 10 after their Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) was struck by an RPG in Elwak of Mandera County, Police Spokesman Charles Owino said that the vehicles will not be able to bear a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack.
Owino said that they wished to make clear that the attack was not due to the unsuitability of the equipment, reports have said.
The security personnel was traveling from Farhama to Elram when two armored vehicles were attacked by an RPG launched by suspected Al-Shabaab fighters.
More than 20 personnel were also injured in the attack.
He added that the Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) can resist specific calibers of ammunition while the MRAPs can resist mines and RPGs.
Kenya bought 30 VN-4s from China in 2016 for an unspecified amount that was deployed to the General Service Unit and Anti Stock Theft Unit.
It also purchased additional Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles which were deployed to the Border Patrol Unit.
The VN4 is manufactured by the Chinese Defense Company Norinco in China. It comes with an open-roof small turret placed at the front top hull and is armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun.
According to reports, they are mounted with three smoke grenade dischargers on each side of the turret. VN4s can carry up to 10 crew.
Kenya, meanwhile, is to receive about six new US-made light attack helicopter gunships by December, according to a US manufacturer. (Agencies)