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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya security forces foil al-Shabab attack
and kill three militants in border region

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police said on Saturday that it foiled an al-Shabab attack killed three militants in Garissa, a northeast county that borders Somalia.

Kenya Police Spokesman Charles Owino confirmed that Somali Islamists attacked a police border patrol unit camp in Yumbis, Garissa County, on Friday night.

"Our officers effectively engaged them and with quick reinforcement from special forces, the attackers were repulsed," Owino said in a statement issued in Nairobi, adding that all police officers are safe.

"A combined team of our security agencies is now on the ground pursuing the assailants," he said.

Security agencies remain on high alert to suppress and counter the al-Qaida-allied terrorist group’s heightened activity along the border with Somalia, Owino said.

Local residents said the attackers also destroyed a telecommunication mast belonging to mobile service provider Safaricom.

They said the militants were sighted near the village earlier on Friday.

Residents said the security forces engaged the attackers, resulting in heavy exchange of fire.

A local police officer, who demanded anonymity, said no civilians were hurt in the incident, but a Safaricom mast was hit, cutting communication in Yumbis and its environs.

The latest attack came just a week after seven police officers were killed by an improvised explosive device in neighboring Wajir County.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Al-Shabab militants storm Kenyan police base in border region

GARISSA (Xinhua) -- Al-Shabab militants early Saturday stormed a police camp in Kenya’s border region with Somalia and escaped with looted firearms and ammunition.

Regional government officials and residents confirmed the incident at the Rural Border Patrol Unit (RBPU) police post in Yumbis, Garissa County, northeast Kenya, saying the attackers also destroyed a telecoms mast, completely cutting off communication in the area.

Garissa County Commissioner Meru Mwangi confirmed the incident but did not divulge more details on the attack.

According to residents, the militants struck at around midnight, shooting indiscriminately.

"They looked very well organized and seemed to understand the area very well," said a local who did not want to be identified.

"While some were busy shooting in the air, others were busy destroying the mast as others torched the police camp.

"In was total pandemonium that lasted close to 30 minutes."

Militants usually destroy telecommunication mast to disrupt police response and communication in the area before they could inflict harm on locals.

The police camp had about 20 officers, and a senior police officer confirmed that all of them were accounted for.

The incident came just a week after seven police officers died in an improvised explosive device attack in neighboring Wajir County.

The last three weeks have seen heightened activities by al-Shabab militants in northeast Kenya.

The militants attacked border towns before escaping back to Somalia.

             

 

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