Kenya Police in Fierce Clash With Al-Shabaab

Kenya Police in Fierce Clash With Al-ShabaabKenya Police in Fierce Clash With Al-Shabaab

Kenyan police fought a fierce battle with Al-Shabaab militants after an ambush near the border with Somalia, officials said Tuesday.

The militants claimed in a statement that at least 25 police were killed, although Kenyan authorities insisted that only five officers were wounded, with Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery dismissing claims of fatalities as “propaganda,” AFP reported.

The Monday night attack came just days after extra Kenyan security forces were deployed in the area to strengthen security after a series of raids by gunmen from the Somali-led Al-Qaeda branch.

Security sources said the officers were attacked close to the village of Yumbis, about 80 km northeast of Garissa and the scene of a clash between Al-Shabaab insurgents and Kenyan security forces last week.

They were ambushed as they went to assist other police who had been targeted by an explosive device, believed to be a landmine or improvised roadside bomb.

“Al-Shabaab conducted a successful attack on the Christian troops of Kenya and the death toll is more than 20, five vehicles were also burned down,” the group’s spokesman said in a statement.

Kenya media and local officials initially said that between 10 and 20 police were killed, while a police spokesman said 13 officers were missing.

“There was an ambush on officers who were on patrol and as a result, 13 officers are missing,” police spokesman George Kinoti said. “More police officers have been dispatched to look for those missing and the attackers.”