NAIROBI, May 26 – Gunmen have killed six people including two police officers in an attack along Kenya’s volatile border with war-torn Somalia, with Islamist insurgents making a rare claim of responsibility.
Somalia’s Islamist Shabaab insurgents said they carried out the attack, in which gunmen fired on a police post near the border town of Liboi late on Saturday, killing two police officers and four civilians.
“A small unit of mujahedeen raided the Kenyan base,” the Shabaab said in a message on Twitter, one of the first times they have confirmed that they had launched raids inside Kenya.
They said they had kidnapped two Kenyans and seized guns during the attack, but the claims could not be verified.
“We have mobilised a major security operation and boosted security at the border,” regional police chief Charlton Mureithi told AFP on Sunday.
Kenya has been hit by a wave of grenade and gun attacks since its army invaded Somalia in 2011 to attack the Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab, who vowed revenge.
However, while the police regularly blame attacks on members or sympathisers of the Shabaab, the extremists have in the past usually kept quiet after attacks, although they have previously broadcast videos of kidnapped Kenyan soldiers and civil servants.
Kenyan troops remain in southern Somalia but have since been integrated into an African Union force.
However, they are working closely with a local Somali militia commander, whose control over southern Somalia’s Jubaland area is fiercely opposed by rival Somali forces as well as the central government in Mogadishu.