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Three killed in suspected Al-Shabaab Tana River attack   

By Chris Mgidu and Joy Nabukewa LAMU (Xinhua) -- At least three people were killed on Thursday after the vehicles they were travelling in were hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Tana River’s coastal region in east Kenya.

Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo confirmed the incident, saying that suspected Al-Shabaab militants also sprayed the two vehicles with bullets before escaping into the vast Boni Forest.

It was not clear whether the three were shot dead or were killed when their vehicles ran over the explosive along the Garsen-Lamu road.

“The two vehicles were on their way from Garsen to Lamu when they ran over the IED and exploded, killing three occupants on the spot. Several others were also injured,” Kitiyo told Xinhua by telephone.

He said the injured were rushed to Witu hospital where they are undergoing treatment, adding that a combined team of security agents drawn from regular police and military were immediately dispatched to the scene.

The incident followed the beheading of four people by suspected Al-Shabaab militants in Lamu County on Aug. 18.

Tana Delta divisional police commander Riziki Ali said the affected vehicles were a truck and a salon car. He said the three are believed to have been shot dead by the militants.

Ali said three other locals were attacked and injured on Wednesday night by the same gang.

The local police chief said this is an indication the militants are still operating in the area despite intensified police operations.

The militants have camped in the area, destroying property and killing security personnel in ambushes amid intensified attacks along the towns situated along the vast Kenya-Somalia border.

Most of the ambushes take place in Wajir, Garissa, Lamu and Mandera counties as protest over the incursion of Kenya troops in Somalia.

The incidents took place amid operations to flush Al-Shabaab fighters out of Boni Forest which the militants have been using as their hideout.

The police believe the militants are using the forest for recruitment and training of Kenya youth to join the group and later to wage terrorist attacks in the country.

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