NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Gunmen believed to be Somali militants killed six people in an overnight attack on police posts near Kenya's border with Somalia, Kenya's police chief said Sunday.
David Kimaiyo, the inspector general of Kenyan police, said two of the victims in the Saturday night attack were Kenyan police officers and that six more are missing. The al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility in Twitter updates, saying it killed eight people in the cross-border attack and wounded more than a dozen. The militants also said they had seized two Kenyans in the attack as well as weapons and boxes of ammunition.
The bodies of two administrative police and four civilians were discovered in the bush hours after the militiamen attacked the Abdisugow and Damajale police posts, Kimaiyo said, adding that firearms were missing at the posts. The dead included a teacher, a Red Cross officer and a 15-year-old boy, he said. Two other people —including a village chief — were shot and seriously wounded in the attack, he said.
"We will pursue the attackers to the end and enough officers are currently involved in the operation," he said.
Kimaiyo said he believed the attackers belong to Somalia's al-Shabab, which has staged many attacks inside Kenya in retaliation for the Kenyan government's decision in Oct. 2011 to send troops into Somalia to battle them. The Kenyan government sent troops there after several cross-border attacks and kidnapping of foreign tourists that were blamed on al-Shabab.
Al-Shabab was working to establish a new generation of East African jihadists, a report by the United Nations warned in July 2011. The extremists represent a new security challenge for the region and wider international community, the report said.