Al Shabaab claims responsibility for Mandera attack, says four officers killed

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Members of al Shabaab parade at Ala Yaasir camp, outside of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, September 3, 2011. Photo/REUTERS

Members of al Shabaab parade at Ala Yaasir camp, outside of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, September 3, 2011. Photo/REUTERS

Al Shabaab said it ambushed a security vehicle on Lafey-Elwak road in Mandera county on Sunday killing four members of the security forces.

County commissioner Fredrick Shisia had confirmed the 10am ambush but did not say whether it was carried out by al Shabaab.

“The militias who were hiding in a nearby thicket opened fire on our officers. We lost two officers in the shootout, one officer was injured,” he said.

But police sources said two police officers, not one, were injured.

The Kenyan Red Cross Society had said in a post on Twitter that two police officers had been killed and two others injured, while an official said he was unaware of the attack.

Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military spokesman, told Reuters the militants ambushed the car on the main road on the Somali border, killing four soldiers and seizing their weapons.

The statement made no mention of police.

Al Shabaab and officials often given conflicting details and death tolls.

Al Shabaab, which seeks to overthrow Somalia’s Western-backed government and impose a strict version of Sharia law, has carried out regular assaults in retaliation for Kenya contributing troops to the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia.

The attack in Mandera county came two days after al Shabaab, which has links to al Qaeda, targeted two security vehicles in Lamu county, killing at least one police officer.