NAIROBI (Reuters) - Somalia’s al Shabaab militants killed five police officers in a border region in northeastern Kenya on Monday, the latest deadly incursion aimed at punishing Kenya for sending troops to Somalia.
Al Shabaab said it was behind the attack. The group’s military operations spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters four officers were also wounded and a vehicle in their convoy was burned in the ambush by its fighters.
The group has previously said it would continue attacks until Kenya withdraws troops from an African Union force fighting the militants in Somalia.
“We condemn the attack by al Shabaab at Dimu this morning, five police officers killed,” Mandera County Governor Ali Roba said on his Twitter account.
Diplomats say Kenya’s northeastern border with Somalia is a security weak spot, given the challenge of policing a long frontier, poor coordination between security services and a culture of corruption that allows those prepared to pay a bribe to pass unchallenged.
Al Shabaab has targeted the Mandera region in the past.
Reporting by Neha Wadekar in Nairobi and Feisal Omar in Mogadishu; Writing by George Obulutsa and Edmund Blair; Editing by Andrew Heavens